I dedicate this to my children who think I may have lost a step or two on the basketball court. JC
The old crow is getting slow.
The young crow is not.
Of what the young crow does not know
The old crow knows a lot.
At knowing things the old crow
Is still the young crow’s master.
What does the slow old crow not know?
-How to go faster.
The young crow flies above, below,
And rings around the slow old crow.
What does the fast young crow not know?
-Where to go.
Ciardi made a book called Limericks Too Gross with Isaac Asimov in which they say that a limerick must be just a little dirty.
For a long time, Ciardi had a 5-minute show on National Public Radio about words and meanings. On one show he explained how his Italian name had evolved from the German Gebhardt–he was descended from the Germans who invaded northern Italy.
I admire lithe young ladies
(especially their thighs)
striding by my winter window,
seriously postponing age and death or what may be.
And I’m so glad that I’m alive
this day and upstairs there’s
a warm and wise old woman,
seriously postponing me.
Youth and Age
THERE'S not a joy the world can give like that it takes away When the glow of early thought declines in feeling's dull decay; 'Tis not on youth's smooth cheek the blush alone which fades so fast But the tender bloom of heart is gone ere youth itself be past. Then the few whose spirits float above the wreck of happiness Are driven o'er the shoals of guilt or ocean of excess: The magnet of their course is gone or only points in vain The shore to which their shiver'd sail shall never stretch again. Then the mortal coldness of the soul like death itself comes down; It cannot feel for others' woes it dare not dream its own; That heavy chill has frozen o'er the fountain of our tears And though the eye may sparkle still 'tis where the ice appears. Though wit may flash from fluent lips and mirth distract the breast Through midnight hours that yield no more their former hope of rest 'Tis but as ivy-leaves around the ruin'd turret wreathe 15 All green and wildly fresh without but worn and gray beneath. Oh could I feel as I have felt or be what I have been Or weep as I could once have wept o'er many a vanish'd scene As springs in deserts found seem sweet all brackish though they be So midst the wither'd waste of life those tears would flow to me! George Lord Byron