Write Yours Now
The 'Journal of Death Studies' for April2004
by Michael Shepherd
(maybe you read it? It's in the
hospital library, top shelf
just out of wheelchair reach,
on the shelf labelled 'Reference')
nonfiction writers tend to die, factually, at sixty-eight;
novelists tie it all up at sixty-six;
playwrights lower the curtain at sixty-three,
and poets close their stanzas at sixty-two.
six years - looking on the bright side -
for your favourite biographer to write you up;
four years for novelists to borrow
your untidy life and win the Booker Prize;
a year for playwrights to emulate
the bitter dialogue of your later,
less romantic household years
with less fear of being sued.
Those whom the gods love, die young,
said the optimistic poet
shortly before he died.
for PoHo, who gave me the damn book with the reference in.
And yes, I wondered too..