What Are Some Poems That Convey Retirement Wishes?


Quick Answer

Poems that convey well-wishes for retirement include "Morituri Salutamus," "Imitations of Horace" and "Ulysses." These poems reflect on a life well-lived and the passage of time, while reminding the reader of opportunities that remain.

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Full Answer

"Morituri Salutamus: Poem for the Fiftieth Anniversary of the Class of 1825 in Bowdoin College" is a poem by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. Written as an address to his fellow retirees, the poem reflects on the passage of time and the journey of youth into old age. The poem encourages readers to seize life's opportunities, reminding them of people such as Chaucer who gained success late in life. Its final and most popular stanza begins, "Age is opportunity no less / Than youth itself."

The verse beginning, "Learn to live well, or fairly make your will," from Alexander Pope's 17th-century satire "Imitations of Horace" is another popular poem for conveying retirement wishes. Pope's epic advocates a graceful retirement, reasoning that the older generation has "played, and loved, and ate, and drunk [its] fill" and should allow younger people to take the stage.

The stanza from Alfred Tennyson's 19th-century blank-verse poem that begins, "Come, my friends / 'Tis not too late to seek a newer world," is often used as an encouraging poem for those retiring. While the original poem in its complete form examines the mythical hero Ulysses, this popular stanza champions the idea of continuing to seek adventure despite old age.

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