And how shall it end?

mcgough quote

This isn’t morbid, but rather a call to arms, not to allow age to be a barrier. It is from Roger McGough’s great poem of the same name

Let me die a youngman’s death
not a clean and inbetween
the sheets holywater death
not a famous-last-words
peaceful out of breath death

When I’m 73
and in constant good tumour
may I be mown down at dawn
by a bright red sports car
on my way home
from an allnight party

Or when I’m 91
with silver hair
and sitting in a barber’s chair
may rival gangsters
with hamfisted tommyguns burst in
and give me a short back and insides

Or when I’m 104
and banned from the Cavern
may my mistress
catching me in bed with her daughter
and fearing for her son
cut me up into little pieces
and throw away every piece but one

Let me die a youngman’s death
not a free from sin tiptoe in
candle wax and waning death
not a curtains drawn by angels borne
‘what a nice way to go’ death

This post is part of Colleen’s Writer’s Quote Wednesday.

About TanGental

My name is Geoff Le Pard. Once I was a lawyer; now I am a writer. I've published four books - Dead Flies and Sherry Trifle, My Father and Other Liars, Salisbury Square and Buster & Moo. In addition I have published three anthologies of short stories and a memoir of my mother. More will appear soon. I will try and continue to blog regularly at about whatever takes my fancy. I hope it does yours too. These are my thoughts and no one else is to blame. If you want to nab anything I post, please acknowledge where it came from.
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24 Responses to And how shall it end?

  1. I used to live next door to the McGoughs in Liverpool. Well, he wasn’t there any more. Two handsome gorgeous blond sons. TomTara and Finn.


  2. Sue Vincent says:

    I’ve always loved this poem.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Meredith says:

    I’ve never heard it. Maybe because my poetry is from study at university and ancient ones were the authors. All I can say “to each his own.” Certainly not my preference. I’m looking forward at some point being escorted by angels as I peacefully sleep.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Lisa Reiter says:

    I’ve never read beyond the first line before – rather fearing the content, so relieved and amazed to find it so positive. Love it. Xx


  5. noelleg44 says:

    I’ve never read this before, but loved it. Strong reminder of “Do not go gentle into that good night…” by Dylan Thomas,

    Liked by 1 person

  6. What a terrific poem. Not that I’m into poetry particularly, but I like the sentiments. Right, now I’m off to get a sports car, a mistress and do some partying. But I’m happy with my beard, so I’ll leave the barbers alone for now

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Rachel M says:

    Great poem. I hope I’m still riding my bike at 91 and then I’d be happy for a quick death by red sports car while out on my bike. Preferably an electric sports car πŸ™‚


  8. wonderful poem!!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. willowdot21 says:

    Great Poet can’t help where he hails from!! πŸ˜‰

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Wow! I loved this! I’m not quite sure what this says about me, but then I’ve never been for the conventional or the norm. This is great. πŸ˜€


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