On Retirement: 75 Poems

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University of Iowa Press, Apr 1, 2007 - Poetry - 108 pages
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In the decade ahead, more than 80 million Americans will reach the age of retirement and face what Robin Chapman and Judith Strasser call “the unnerving question, What next?” Indeed, according to the Social Security Administration, the number of Americans sixty-five or older will nearly double between 2000 and 2030. As more people approach retirement, they too will wonder what lies ahead.
    This superb collection includes poems by men and women ranging in age from their fifties to their eighties and hailing from different cities, regions, and countries. The entire range of emotions and literary perspectives is represented here, whether the specter of death in Doug Anderson’s “Sixty One” or a sly grin in Roger Pfingston’s “Retired.”
    Each poet—whether retired or just contemplating retirement—greets the prospect of this new chapter of life differently. George Bilgere purchases the complete works of Verdi and extravagant silk shirts, while Denise Levertov contemplates life alone. Alicia Ostriker implores readers to “keep on fighting, keep up the good work,” and Alberto Ríos recalls a lost love. However we contemplate retirement, this volume will illuminate the careful thoughts of those who have faced these questions before us.
 
Contributors Include:
Werner Aspenstrom, Chana Bloch, Philip Booth, Hayden Carruth, Lucille Clifton, Ruth Daigon, Susan Elbe, Sam Hamill, Mark Irwin, klipschutz, Ted Kooser, Maxine Kumin, Richard Moore, Naomi Shihab Nye, Grace Paley, Robert Pinsky, Carol Potter, Ishmael Reed, Claudette Mork Sigg, Ronald Wallace
 

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Contents

Doug Anderson SixtyOne
1
Chana Bloch The Sixth Age
8
Charles Cantrell Retirement Matters
14
Lucille Clifton climbing
20
Downs Flu Clinic at the Retirement Center
27
Sam Hamill The Orchid Flower
34
Ellen Kort One by One
47
Johnes K Moore Deadwood
60
Ronald Pies The Neurology Professor Retires
73
Alberto Ríos The Conversation of Old Husbands
81
Judith Strasser Now Im Retired I Have Time
87
Contributors
93
Acknowledgments
101
Index to Titles
107
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About the author (2007)

Robin Chapman is professor emerita of communicative disorders at the University of Wisconsin. She is the author of three books and five chapbooks of poetry, including The Way In and Images of a Complex World: The Art and Poetry of Chaos, both winners of the Posner Poetry Award. Judith Strasser retired in 1999 from her position as senior producer  and interviewer for To the Best of Our Knowledge, the nationally syndicated NPR program. Since her retirement, she has published a memoir, Black Eye: Escaping a Marriage, Writing a Life; a poetry collection, The Reason/Unreason Project, which won the Lewis-Clark Press Expedition Award; and a chapbook.

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