Thoughts on Reaching a Ripe Old Age


Lines penned by Herb on the occasion of his 85th birthday:

Are we alone alive of those who knew

people who never once heard anyone

say “fuck” or “screw”?


It’s almost dark.

Let’s walk in the park

and then come home, take books to bed,

and listen with our eyes

to the voices of the dead.


And then there was the Great Society

devoured by the great bureaucracy.



Now that I am older

and can take my time,

patterns of everydayness

satisfy like rhyme.

      Herbert Knapp

8 thoughts on “Thoughts on Reaching a Ripe Old Age

  1. My dad was born in 1901. He was a tough guy who drove a bread delivery truck. I used to ride with him. He would get frustrated and angry with customers and orders. ONCE in my whole life did I hear him use the the F word. It was so sacred. The last resort. As in Ralphie’s Christmas Story. Yes, I approach 75. And I wear shorts, not my pants rolled–yet.


    1. I guess naughty little boys may have used the F word among themselves, but never in front of little girls. And I never heard it used by an adult either. I still react with an inadvertent shock when I hear it. (You don’t want to ever ride the NY subway right after school closes in the afternoon.)

      Liked by 2 people

  2. These are wonderful thoughts. I love them. I look forward to being satisfied with everydayness. I’m getting there. And I have given direction to young actors to see with their ears and hear with their eyes. Great minds..


  3. Marvelous, well done, Herb 😊. I’m just facing 50, and yet I can identify completely with the first verse especially. You are NOT alone! Thanks so much for sharing this, Mary. And happiest birthday dear Herb! Share again sometime!


    1. I’ve passed on your thoughts and birthday wishes to Herb, who says “thanks!” Our little publishing company (Girandole Books) will be publishing several small volumes of Herb’s poetry soon—after my most recent effort: “Miracle on Fourth Street: Saving an Old Merchant’s House” sees the light of day. (Early in April)
      Thanks very much Jennifer for your enthusiasm.


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