Six reasons to give How To Be Old to grown-ups, especially yourself
- On a topic of acute personal interest to most grown-ups, even if they don’t admit it.
- Realistic, optimistic, playful and wise: a rare combination for books about ageing.
- By a poet (me) successful in the literary world but strangely easy to read.
- Great poems to read aloud over a beer or a coffee.
- So popular that people buy multiple copies for gifts. (The record so far: 14 copies.)
- Get the book postage-free just when postal costs are rising.
Why it’s good to order gifts right now: shipping problems
In this pandemic, shipping is unpredictable. We are warned to order gifts early, like yesterday, because of supply problems. But I’m still sending my best-selling book of poems How To Be Old postage-free from Aotearoa New Zealand to any international destination including the US, UK and Australia.
Who knows how long this will be possible? Not me. I’ve got 10 copies for sale right now, and hope I can get more shortly.
Zoom calls with the author with readings and chat
I love to hear from people who have read How To Be Old. I learn a lot from your insights and experiences—and I hear about fun ways you’ve been using the book. So shortly I’ll be setting up a few Zoom events where I can chat to you, read poems to you, get your own stories about your future old age, and answer your questions.
… her light touch and engaging voice fill her poems with irresistible humanity and plenty of humour, even when she tackles the accoutrements that come with being old.Chris Tse, Landfall, No. 240, December 2020
To join the conversation, just order one or more copies of How To Be Old.
Order it online now and get How To Be Old before the holiday season
By the way, if you live in Aotearoa, you can get How To Be Old through your local bookshop for the same price.
A few poems to whet your appetite
Your trouble, my friend is too much fun and there should be a lot more of it. * If anyone tells your secret let it be you and let it be true. * Nobody knows your neck squeaks. Nobody knows your heart is a bowl of poems. * Everything you do is very very good and very very good is good enough. * The past supports us like a trampoline. The future? Face it. Unlace it. Embrace it.
What is your job
What is your job when you no longer have a job? What is your work when you don’t go to work any more? When you retire you gain such a lot — like freedom and time and multiple choice. You left with relief so why this incongruity of grief? Work gave you friends, a schedule, a label a space and a fable a reason to get out of bed a dress code and your daily bread and at your very core a sense of who you are and what you’re for.
Before the Fall
After the bath with ragged towels our Dad would dry us very carefully: six little wriggly girls each with foamy pigtails two rainy legs the invisible back we couldn’t reach a small wet heart and toes, ten each. He dried us all the way he gave the parish Morning Prayer: as if it was important as if God was fair as if it was really simple if you would just be still and bare.
Happiness at lunch
Five friends met for lunch when one was briefly back in town. The meal was good but that was not the source of joy. The talk was good but that was not the source of joy. All of us anticipated joy we scheduled joy we planned it and arranged it we decided, we committed and we chose it. We knew there would be joy and so there was. We all have sorrow in our lives. Sorrow is not diluted or denied by joy. Sorrow settles in a corner on a sofa, watching mellowing, taking a break. Five friends chatter and embrace and take their place and fill this space with joy.