Monday, 7 March 2011

Let Me Die a Youngman's Death

It's been a while since I posted a poem - and a long-stated aim that I would recommence this poetry strand within the blog. I'm therefore pleased to be posting this poem by Roger McGough. 

The light-hearted tone belies the underlying fear of growing old and fading away - enjoy!

Let Me Die a Youngman's Death by Roger McGough

Let me die a youngman’s death
not a clean and inbetween
the sheets holywater death
not a famous-last-words
peaceful out of breath death

When I’m 73
and in constant good tumour
may I be mown down at dawn
by a bright red sports car
on my way home
from an allnight party

Or when I’m 91
with silver hair
and sitting in a barber’s chair
may rival gangsters
with hamfisted tommyguns burst in
and give me a short back and insides

Or when I’m 104
and banned from the Cavern
may my mistress
catching me in bed with her daughter
and fearing for her son
cut me up into little pieces
and throw away every piece but one

Let me die a youngman’s death
not a free from sin tiptoe in
candle wax and waning death
not a curtains drawn by angels borne
‘what a nice way to go’ death


1 comment:

Raybeard said...

I'm pretty sure I've heard it before but it is a good one. The 2nd line of the 2nd verse is particularly startling and clever (like so much of the rest of it). I hadn't previously noticed it but I'm hoping it's surely NOT a misprint - 'humour' would be a bit flat as well as pointless.
I always listen to Radio 4's 'Poetry, Please' but am regularly frustrated at Roger McG whispering or mumbling the ends of his words, as though he's run out of steam, so I'm regularly distracted in wondering what he's just said. Particularly annoying when he mentions the name of a poet I hadn't heard of before, and then I still don't catch it. I've written to the Beeb about his want of clear articulation but nothing seems to be done.
Sorry, Andrew, I didn't mean to be negative on your blog. I repeat, it IS a good poem, and it gets better on each reading.