|If you’re a fan of J. Patrick Lewis’ poetry for kids (and if you’re not, what on Earth is wrong with you?!), I hope you’ll enjoy digging into his recent collection for adults, Gulls Hold Up the Sky (Laughing Fire Press, 2010).
To me, the hallmark of Pat’s poetry is his eclecticism and facility with words. He does everything and makes it all look easy. If he weren’t such a good guy, I’d be rather irritated.
The astonishing variety of his work is reflected in this collection that includes poetic forms like villanelles and sonnets as well as tons of free verse. It includes humor, of course, and melancholy, satisfaction and indignance, and a whole lot of other things. It made it tough to pick one poem to share.
But I did pick, and I picked one that really resonated with me. It’s called "Let Me Die A Young Man’s Death," and it reflects pretty accurately how I feel about death. Besides just not wanting to die in general, I especially don’t want to die a sad death after having quit living anyway. I want to live big every minute I have, and when the end comes, I don’t want to feel I’ve wasted any of it.
Here’s the poem, which I was tickled to discover, after I chose it, was available online so I don’t even have to type in the entire thing–happy lazy Poetry Friday to me:>)
Let Me Die a Young Man’s Death
After Roger McGough
Let me die a young man’s death
with honor & not a goner-
& hope to heaven no 7-Eleven/
Speedway stick-up or hiccup death
When I’m 78
may my misadventures
not include loose dentures
may I die by the hand
of the lunatic fringe
& not by some ghastly drip syringe
Read the rest of the poem here to see what other acceptable deaths Pat imagines!
–J. Patrick Lewis, all rights reserved
Mary Ann at Great Kid Books has the Poetry Friday roundup today!