When I am old and grey and full of sleep
Invite the light in from the ledge and drop a beat
Make the floors shake, enrage the neighbors
Wake the street
When I am old and grey and full of sleep. 

When I am old and grey and full of sleep
Ink in calligraphy upon these sagging tits
“The road goes ever”
“Fools in love”
“Fuck tha police”
When I am old and grey and full of sleep.

When I am old and grey and full of sleep
Be glad you knew me as I was before
Be glad you once held handfuls of my hair
And pulled me close and kissed me long and deep
Be glad we gave each other what we did not earn
Accounting’s shut down anyway, the ledgers burn
Stars thirst for hydrogen, satellites rust, orbits decay,
The fire-eyed boatman is swept up by gravitational waves.
It’s simple, in the end, it’s very obvious
“I loved you once” means that I loved you always.

12 thoughts on “When I am old

  1. I am an avid reader of poetry, I want to like this Yeats retelling, but gratuitous vulgarity feels upsetting. Was there any reason to reference breasts in this confrontational manner? We get enough sex on TV. The original Yeats poem is beautiful and this one could have been, but the author just had to get her opinions out there!

  2. Amy, are we talking about the same Yeats? The Yeats who wrote about Crazy Jane’s flat and fallen breasts?

    P.S. Cool poem, Nat.

  3. I’m not really sure what you mean.

    I think my point stands. I like this blog and the author’s “out-there” style but I think that if you are going to imitate a poem you should really do it justice.

  4. Yikes, woman!

    The poem above is genius because it ties When You Are Old with Crazy Jane Talks with the Bishop, besides the other cool things it does.

    It would be cool if you knew something about Yeats before you began complaining about “gratuitous vulgarity. I’m not judging, I get it, you’re young. But come on.

  5. Hank:

    Amy’s comment must have been performance art — “reference breasts in this confrontational manner”? Confrontational breasts?!! I wish I could write like that.

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