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Wednesday, June 1, 2011

To my rapidly vanishing "Twenties"

Now I think I realize what Daphne Du Maurier meant when the Protagonist at the end of the book says rather wistfully I’ll Never Be Young Again. I found this poem while browsing some site last evening. I fell in love with it right at the first line though the very essence of it only came to me after two, three readings. I took a print out home and made my Mum read it. Every once in a while I find some poem which appeals to me or touches a chord somewhere and this one did as I approach the end of my twenties in a little over two years. Okay yes two years is a long time but even then I feel somehow me and a some of us were happier people a couple of years back. The World was going to be our oyster. I say it still will be but that joyous feeling seems to be absent. Now the realities somehow bite me more. Happiness as a state of mind has to be maintained and worked at. Such is life. Some myths have been shattered, dreams broken into fragments but trying to be rebuilt again. That passion and zeal almost vanished in the middle. We were silly, wild and happy 23,24 year olds and we thought the world was at our feet and we shall conquer it all. The follies of youth I tell you. To be 23 again. Sigh! Here’s to my rapidly vanishing “twenties” and maybe Cheers to the approaching "Thirties". Hope you maybe as interesting and in some ways a little less harsh.

To My Twenties

How lucky that I ran into you

When everything was possible

For my legs and arms, and with hope in my heart

And so happy to see any woman—

O woman! O my twentieth year!

Basking in you, you

Oasis from both growing and decay

Fantastic unheard of nine- or ten-year oasis

A palm tree, hey! And then another

And another—and water!

I’m still very impressed by you. Whither,

Midst falling decades, have you gone? Oh in what lucky fellow,

Unsure of himself, upset, and unemployable

For the moment in any case, do you live now?

From my window I drop a nickel

By mistake. With

You I race down to get it

But I find there on

The street instead, a good friend,

X— N—, who says to me

Kenneth do you have a minute?

And I say yes! I am in my twenties!

I have plenty of time! In you I marry,

In you I first go to France; I make my best friends

In you, and a few enemies. I

Write a lot and am living all the time

And thinking about living. I loved to frequent you

After my teens and before my thirties.

You three together in a bar

I always preferred you because you were midmost

Most lustrous apparently strongest

Although now that I look back on you

What part have you played?

You never, ever, were stingy.

What you gave me you gave whole

But as for telling

Me how best to use it

You weren’t a genius at that.

Twenties, my soul

Is yours for the asking

You know that, if you ever come back.

Kenneth Koch

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