It’s not that the old are wise But that we thirst for the wisdom we had at twenty when we understood everything when our brains bubbled with tingling insights percolating up from our brilliant genitals when our music rang like a global siege shooting down all the lies in the world oh then we knew the truth then we sparkled like mica in granite and now we stand on the shore of an ocean that rises and rises but is too salt to drink
Copyright © 2018 by Alicia Ostriker. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on April 20, 2018, by the Academy of American Poets.
About this Poem
“The thirsting described in this poem comes from the experience of aging. With age comes physical depletion but also, at times, mental and spiritual depletion. When we were young we thought we could change the world; we were self-confident to the point of arrogance. And now, even if we know that self-confidence was illusory, we still yearn for it—and the world still needs changing.”
Date Published: 2018-04-20
Source URL: https://poets.org/poem/thirsting