Poem Sampler

Poems for Retirement

Poetry about the joys and challenges of life post-career.

by The Editors
Poems for Retirement

Blessings and Good Wishes

won’t you celebrate with me
Lucille Clifton

Rita Dove

My Triumph
John Greenleaf Whittier

The Blessing of the Old Woman, the Tulip, and the Dog
Alicia Ostriker

Live Blindly and upon the Hour
Trumbull Stickney

Against Retirement

from The Woman’s Labor
Mary Collier

Poet’s work
Lorine Niedecker


Reflections on Retirement

The Uniform
Marvin Bell

The Halls
Mark Halliday

Ninety-Fifth Street
John Koethe

The Farm
David Lee

Karl Shapiro 

Henry Timrod

Dramatic Monologues

On the Eve of His Retirement, the Weight-Guesser Goes All Out
David Clewell

Prime Minister in Retirement
Alfred Corn

The Comedian Retires
Ralph E. Greene 

Resigning from a Job in a Defense Industry
Sandra McPherson

Poems about Change

from constant change figures
Lyn Hejinian

The Tide Rises, the Tide Falls
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Immortal Sails
Alfred Noyes

Waterlily Fire
Muriel Rukeyser

Sonnet LXXIII: That Time of Year thou mayst in me Behold
William Shakespeare

Wendy Videlock

Originally Published: March 21, 2013



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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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