I’m going to build a solid house, Good bones to frame it straight and true Upon which fasten seasoned boards The outside elements to subdue. It shan’t be graced with gingerbread that merely mildews in the rain, or gargoyles leering overhead evincing darkness and disdain. A simple plan as fits my taste, I aim to please no one but me. One needn’t look for blemishes. I’ll know they’re there; I’ll let them be. My house will stand the tests of time Clean lines that age but loathe to stray, With understated grace and strength to see me through my final days.
Today’s dVerse poetry prompt, as posed by sarahsouthwest: “I’d like you to look back over the last year and choose a poem that calls to you, and write a response to that.”
I chose a poem by Elizabeth Crawford Yates, a local poet who published in the 1950s. Her poem, “To a Time-Grayed House,” struck me in that she ascribes the aging process with “dread and wistfulness.” As I celebrate my 60th year on this planet, I don’t dread growing old nor do I pine for those long-lost days of youth. I do want to age gracefully though, and maintain my health as best I can. And so, the poem above was my response to this:
TO A TIME-GRAYED HOUSE Though you may stare with dread and wistfulness At youthful cottage and its sleek white dress, Remember this. Too soon, that one may be A peeling thing, with shaken masonry. Elizabeth Crawford Yates from her book Wind Carvings (copyright 1953)