J.D. Smith, ‘Seven Ages of Man’

I puked and cried–that’s what Mom said.

School sucks. Why can’t I stay in bed?

I want that girl. What is her name?

I’ll kick some ass and stake my claim.

I’m fat. So what? I’ve won the game.

I limp these days, and feel the gout.

Say, now, what was all that about?

*****

J.D. Smith writes: “I hesitate to say very much about this poem, as it plays so blatantly off of Shakespeare, but a short explanation seems in order. The third-person eloquence and loftiness of the original stands in contrast to how we experience the stages of life, and it occurred to me to bring the discussion down to earth with a series of plain first-person statements.”

J.D. Smith has published six books of poetry, most recently the light verse collection Catalogs for Food Loversand he has received a Fellowship in Poetry from the United States National Endowment for the Arts. This poem is from The Killing Tree (Finishing Line Press, 2016).Smith’s first fiction collection, Transit, will be published in December 2022. His other books include the essay collection Dowsing and Science. Smith works in Washington, DC, where he lives with his wife Paula Van Lare and their rescue animals. Twitter: @Smitroverse

Photo: “File:Baynard House Seven Ages of Man.jpg” by Photo: Andreas Praefcke is licensed under CC BY 3.0.

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