Sunday, July 15, 2012

On Age and Death

Open one more book.
Read one more page.
Find one more man thinking about death.
Learn there are no answers, no reasons.
One's unwanted death is the completion of one's unwanted birth.



  1. Look at it this way: If you had been able to choose to be, would you have. I think I would have. As for death, I always think of John Wheelock's lines that
    ... to have lived
    Even if once only, once and
    no more,
    Will have been - oh, how truly - worth it.
    Wheelock also posed the following question:
    Was it not worth it to be born,
    To have felt this sun, to have drawn this breath!
    Is life not worth the price of death!

  2. You should go to the mountains more often, Frank. On what foggy rural crossroad did you see the ghost of John Hall Wheelock? Not only dead, but largely forgotten. Not in my Merriam-Webster Encyclopedia of Literature. Not in my edition of the Oxford Anthology of American Verse. I wonder how many people know that he was an editor under Maxwell Perkins at Scribners, and that he was there when Thomas Wolfe made his first appearance, or that Wolfe wrote a brief cameo of Wheelock into one of the novels. Thank you for this brief revival of a forgotten poet.
    As for comment on the post itself, I ask the court for a continuation. I want to re-read the articles on Amy Turner and see if that can help me make my point more clearly.

  3. Hi Lincoln,
    Maybe we're the only ones who remember Wheelock. If so, too bad for everybody else. His late poetry is exceptional.