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Getting Old Is Not Amusing - A Poem

Getting old has its drawbacks and comforts, too!

My Mom enjoying some of the comforts of old age...a good book, a comfortable place to read it and a warm cat purring on her lap...

My Mom enjoying some of the comforts of old age...a good book, a comfortable place to read it and a warm cat purring on her lap...

Old age - better than the alternative!

The best revenge we have upon the smugness of youth is knowing that the young will be old someday, too!

My father-in-law used to say, “Getting old is hell, but it’s better than the alternative!”

I hope you enjoy this poem about growing old!

Getting Old Is Not Amusing

Failing eyes and fallen arches,
No more hikes and no more marches.
Taste buds dulled, my ears are muted,
Signs of age can’t be refuted.

Once I heard the bluebirds singing–
Now, instead, my ears are ringing.
Aging skin with sagging wrinkles,
Lost my sparkle, lost my twinkle.

More gray hairs and bald spots showing,
In stranger places, hairs are growing!
All the ways my body’s losing—
Getting old is not amusing.

Now I face my mirror knowing,
Youth is fleeting– Yes, it’s going!
Each new day brings creaks and twinges,
To my body’s rusty hinges.

Then there are the senior lapses,
When my brain’s mis-fired synapses,
Don’t fire at all, or fire askew.
(Who is that guy? And who are you? )

There’s no way that I can soften,
Senior moments coming often.
My body, brain and mind are losing,
Getting old is not amusing!

You may laugh while I am crying,
But you’ll see as time goes flying,
Old age creeps up unrelenting
Then it’s you who’ll be lamenting,

“Was I not young just yesterday?
Without a sign of sag or gray?”
Soon you’ll find, despite your raging.
Wrinkles, lines and signs of aging!

Then amid the ringing, buzzing,
When your brain’s misfiring, fuzzing,
When dis-functions start appearing,
(No, it’s not just sight and hearing!)

When your sprightly step is slowing
When your body parts are going
When it’s YOU who’s losing, losing,
Will you find old age amusing?

You don't have to be young to be beautiful

A rusty abandoned car is an antique desert sculpture.

A rusty abandoned car is an antique desert sculpture.

Getting Old Is Better Than the Alternative!

I recently did a photo gallery on abandoned old cars. Many of them are rusting away and disintegrating where they stand. (Sound familiar?) Yet, in their own way, they are beautiful and the ravages of weather and age has made them into sculptures more than junk.

This made me think about the similarities these old abandoned vehicles have to our aging populations. It seems that as people age, they are sometimes less respected, even considered “junk” by the younger generation. Sadly enough, if you live to be 100 you’re venerated, but if you are only 89, you may be considered a burden. That too has a similarity to material goods that are valued as antiques if they have survived for 100 years, but often have little value if they haven’t.

Appreciate the beauty of age

Aging buildings have an aesthetic appeal that need no enhancement.

Aging buildings have an aesthetic appeal that need no enhancement.

Then there are buildings. Anyone who has taken a road trip has seen old buildings, tumbled down barns and houses that have been abandoned to nature. What makes a hundred year old building worth restoring and another a pile of firewood? It’s a question that historians will surely rush in to answer, but, in my mind, some of the aging buildings are beautiful in their own way, more beautiful than they would be if they were restored to their youthful appearance. If only the elderly were perceived that way!

One thing about youth is guaranteed: It too will pass!

“When your sprightly step is slowing
When your body parts are going
When it’s YOU who’s losing, losing,
Will you find old age amusing?”


Anya Ali from Rabwah, Pakistan on March 06, 2020:

That's a really good poem!

Charlie Halliday from Scotland on September 30, 2019:

Lovely poem and very funny, but with a real message

BRENDA ARLEDGE from Washington Court House on July 23, 2019:

Enjoyed reading, but I want to remain as young as I can feel.

Yes, there are moments when I feel it creeping, but I will steadfastly try to continue. I don't want to age too quickly.

Stephanie Henkel (author) from USA on June 21, 2018:

Thanks, John. Old age isn't always fun, but we can still smile!

John Hansen from Gondwana Land on June 17, 2018:

Stephanie, I really enjoyed this poem. It contains so many unfortunate thruths. life is indeed fleeting and old age sneaks up far to fast. Love the pics of the old rusted car and building, and overall a wonderful piece of writing.

Nyesha Pagnou MPH from USA on June 06, 2018:

This is an awesome poem. Thanks for sharing!

Leland Johnson from Midland MI on April 20, 2018:

Stephanie- Without the age you have acquired I could not imagine how it could be possible that such beautiful words of wisdom could be penned. I was moved by your poem.

Rochelle Frank from California Gold Country on February 12, 2018:

Beautifully done, it scans flawlessly and is one of those that can be easily read aloud.

Also . . . I'm at an age when I can appreciate the message fully.

Stephanie Henkel (author) from USA on December 23, 2017:

Thank you, Mark! It was fun to write.

Mark Tulin from Palm Springs, California on December 20, 2017:

Beautiful imagery with a humorous touch.

Stephanie Henkel (author) from USA on September 24, 2017:

Thanks Paula! Sometimes it's hard to laugh at ourselves when we encounter those problems of aging, but it does make it easier if we have friends our age who can commiserate and laugh with us. Much as we might like to have it otherwise, we have to face aging eventually. Let's make the best of it! Thanks for your note.

Suzie from Carson City on September 23, 2017:

Stephanie.....Such a fun poem! Well, OK, it's all painfully true and those of us experiencing it all, on a daily basis, may not laugh all that much. But when it comes down to dealing with the inevitable, at least we have the wisdom to know how to make the best of it and sometimes, just laugh at ourselves!!

I enjoyed this! Paula

Stephanie Henkel (author) from USA on September 23, 2017:

Elaine - Of course you are free to read my poem at your party as long as you don't publish it anywhere. Best wishes for a very Happy Birthday! Stephanie

elaine.roesch@comcast.net on September 22, 2017:

Well, I wanted to write something for my 85th birthday party. My kids expect something crazy from me so I decided to write a poem:

A "thank you" to everyone who wants to be here

To celebrate life in its 85th year

It's hard getting older 'cause things get so tough

You get through the day with Excedrin and stuff

And one of the things that now gives me pause

Is the pain that shoots through my face and my jaws

And the teeth that I have are beginning to rot

I'll soon be without them as likely as not

- - - - - -

Well, I got this far and ran across your (Stephanie Henkel) poem on my computer and thought that this is a very talented and wise lady and I wondered if she would mind if I used a few verses of her poem (with appropriate acknowledgement) at my party. Please say "yes."

Liz Elias from Oakley, CA on May 17, 2016:

Love it! It reminds me of one my mother wrote years back. I'll have to track it down and post it.

Also, I am reminded of a quip by a friend of mine, "Growing old is not for sissies. And I think I am one!" LOL! I steal that one all the time.

Brandon from Houston, Texas on July 23, 2015:

Great Poem

Stephanie Henkel (author) from USA on September 10, 2014:

PurvisBobbi44 - Thanks Bobbi! :) I love your technique for looking younger...if you look younger to yourself, that's what counts! Thanks for stopping by.

Stephanie Henkel (author) from USA on September 09, 2014:

Lambservant - I'd be pleased to have you link my hub to yours! Thanks for stopping by!

Lori Colbo from United States on September 08, 2014:

I absolutely love your poem. May I use it (with attribution and link) to my hub on humor and reflections on aging?

Barbara Purvis Hunter from Florida on September 08, 2014:

That was so sweet, because you still look amazing. When I look into my mirror in the morning, I say to myself: Hello you sweet young thing---you are looking great. Now, do you know how I can honestly say that? I take my contacts out before I brush my teeth.

Great poem.

Bobbi Purvis

Stephanie Henkel (author) from USA on July 15, 2014:

Rosie writes - Glad you enjoyed my poem, Rosie. Old age is one of those things...you may not like it much, but you have to make the best of it!

Audrey Surma from Virginia on July 15, 2014:

Lovely poem. We don't like to talk about it until we are older, but it happens to all of us who are lucky enough to still be here.

Stephanie Henkel (author) from USA on July 12, 2014:

FictionFish - Hahaha...I'm with you! I used to think that 50 was ancient, but it's amazing how my views have changed as I get older. Now "old" is at least 20 years older than my present age! I love your saying about smiles...gives your face something to do! When people see your smile, they don't think about your age, either. Thanks for stopping by.

FictionFish on July 11, 2014:

I remember when I used to think that 50 was old. Now I think that maybe 100 is old; maybe not. I think that the clue to life is just to enjoy it and all of the experiences that come with it. Try to learn something from everyone you meet and give out smiles. They are free and they give your face something to do.

Stephanie Henkel (author) from USA on July 07, 2014:

Anniething - Absolutely, Annie! Stay young at heart! :)

Theodora from Greece on July 07, 2014:

you can't avoid getting old, but age is just a number. it's how your heart feels that matters. well done. nice read.

Stephanie Henkel (author) from USA on June 22, 2014:

J.R.LaGreca - We can't avoid old age (well, we can, but it's not a good solution!), so we may as well smile about it! Glad that you got a laugh out of my poem.

Jody R LaGreca from New York, New York on June 22, 2014:

This poem was truly amazing and really had me laughing. Thanks for brightening up my day with these memorable words.

Stephanie Henkel (author) from USA on June 22, 2014:

Moonlake - When we're young, we think we'll stay that way forever. I remember how shocked I was when I looked in the mirror one day and noticed some tiny wrinkles. Now I'd be happy with just those few!

moonlake from America on June 21, 2014:

Loved your poem and everything you said is so true. I never knew how many wrinkles I had until I took a selfy of me and our daughter's cat. I'll never take another one. My friend once said to me her husband said I was a looker when I was young. That statement made me feel bad, because I knew I was no longer a looker. Your right all the young people that look at us as if we're from Mars will one day look just like us.

Voted up.

Stephanie Henkel (author) from USA on June 21, 2014:

sharonchristy - Thanks so much for you lovely comment! It made me smile this morning, old age or not!

Chris from India on June 21, 2014:

Old age in certainly not amusing, but your poem is. I just loved the rhyme scheme, it was catchy all along! It just fit like a key in a lock. I found myself saying it aloud in my head and loved it. Just loved your poem, Henkel! Age doth not wither, nor custom stale your infinite variety. Thank you for sharing that awesome poem with us! :D

Stephanie Henkel (author) from USA on February 25, 2014:

lissamasters - Since we cannot change or slow the aging process, we just have to laugh about it. :) So glad you enjoyed my poem...thanks for stopping in to read and for your comments!

Melissa S Masters from Massachussetts on February 25, 2014:

Oh my goodness...I am laughing out loud -- literally! Delightful! Though the truth of age is, as you say not so amusing, the way you presented it certainly is. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this delightful work!

Stephanie Henkel (author) from USA on February 19, 2014:

Headshrinker - Winter does have a not-so-subtle way of reminding us of our ages, doesn't it? Thanks so much for stopping by...stay warm!

headshrinker from Western Massachusetts on February 18, 2014:

Just found this old poem and what a delight. Thank you. I know well the creaking of my hinges, especially this winter.

Stephanie Henkel (author) from USA on December 16, 2013:

SkySlave - Absolutely! Laughter will see us through! Thanks for stopping in to read and comment! Keep on smiling!

Skyler DeCristoforo from Olympia, WA on December 16, 2013:

A great sense of humor seems to be the best way to handle most situations in this life. Keep a smile on and take in day by day. Were all in this together!

Stephanie Henkel (author) from USA on August 06, 2013:

W1totalk - Good observation! LOL! Thanks for stopping by!

W1totalk on August 06, 2013:

Age is happening as we speak.Great writing.

Stephanie Henkel (author) from USA on August 06, 2013:

JayeWisdom - Thank you Jaye for your return visit and comments. You do indeed have a beautiful mind...and lovely face too, judging from your photo! :)

Stephanie Henkel (author) from USA on August 06, 2013:

Thelma Alberts- Thank you for your comments, Thelma. Although there are things about getting older that are definitely not amusing, we can only hope to keep our sense of humor!

Stephanie Henkel (author) from USA on August 06, 2013:

Msmillar - How wonderful that you have developed a friendship with your elderly neighbor! We can all learn from each other and those who have lived longer have much history and wisdom to share if only we would listen. Thanks so much for your comments.

Jaye Denman from Deep South, USA on August 06, 2013:

This one is worth another read, Stephanie. As one of the "old wrecks" with "rusty hinges", I appreciate the concept that, like an antique car or old leaning house, there is something about me that might be aesthetically pleasing. Ha! At this stage, I'd be even more pleased to know that it's my mind....Voted Up+++


Thelma Alberts from Germany on August 06, 2013:

What a beautiful poem! Getting old is indeed not amusing. Thanks for sharing.

Stephanie Henkel (author) from USA on August 06, 2013:

Vinaya Ghimire - Thank you, Vinaya, for your very kind comments! I do agree with your sentiments!

Stephanie Henkel (author) from USA on August 06, 2013:

Victoria Lynn - Thanks for your kind words...they made me smile! Glad you liked my poem!

Stephanie Henkel (author) from USA on August 06, 2013:

Thumbi7 - Thank you so much for your sweet comments about my mother! and thanks for the share, too!

Stephanie Henkel (author) from USA on August 06, 2013:

Hi Bobby - Although I have many days when I feel quite young, I find that "senior moments" come more often. Talking about our health seems to be a popular subject among seniors...I hope that I can keep my complaints to a minimum, too! Thanks for stopping in to read and comment!

Stephanie Henkel (author) from USA on August 06, 2013:

Hi Mary615, Good ole' George Burns was full of witty sayings! Thanks for the smile and for your comments!

Joanna from Wilseyville on August 06, 2013:

Well said! It's sad to see that our older people aren't revered as they should be. I love going over to my neighbor and talking with him. I learn so much!! He's been there, done that. He just turned 89 yrs old! He has the answers to life I'm seeking, and so many others are seeking, but don't realize it's right there in the older folks, spend some time and listen! Thank you Stephanie!

Vinaya Ghimire from Nepal on August 06, 2013:

Old age makes us more aware, more sensitive, and more sensible.

Beautiful composition.

Victoria Lynn from Arkansas, USA on August 06, 2013:

This is delightful. Not only are the sentiments right on, but the rhythm is catchy and fun, adding to the words. It kind of has a Dr. Seuss kind of sound. I love it!

JR Krishna from India on August 06, 2013:

Your mother is very lucky to be cared for in such a nice way in her old age. People feel insecure when they think about old age because many of us may not be as lucky as your mother.

Voted up and shared

Barbara Purvis Hunter from Florida on August 06, 2013:


Loved your hub and your mother looks so sweet with her kitty in her lap.

I heard another Southern term the other day and when I remember it I am sending it to you.(That must mean I am getting older!)

I will gladly take the journey with my bottle of Advil---like My Aunt Dora does. Her Advil is always with her.

I cannot remember my grandmother ever saying she had a pain here or there---but I hear it from some of my neighbors. I said when my time comes to be old---I will not talk about my pains---but who knows I might.

I hope all is well you and yours---I am happy I had this time to read your hub.

Bobbi Purvis

Mary Hyatt from Florida on August 06, 2013:

George Burns said if he had known he was going to live this long, he would have taken better care of himself when he was younger! I don't mind getting older as long as everything works as it should.....so far, so good.

Voted UP and shared.

Stephanie Henkel (author) from USA on August 04, 2013:

Tillsontitan - It's our revenge on the young people who make fun of us...they will someday be walking in our shoes! Thanks for your comments! Never grow up! :)

Mary Craig from New York on August 04, 2013:

You've certainly nailed this one Stephanie. No matter our age we never think we're going to be THAT old. It is time to go back in history and revere our old...as you pointed out not just our old folks but our old buidings, cars and traditions. I may have to grow old but I don't have to grow up!

Voted up, useful, awesome, and interesting.

Stephanie Henkel (author) from USA on August 04, 2013:

teaches 12345 - Some days aging is not funny...sometimes it is! Time flies by so quickly, doesn't it? Glad you enjoyed the poem!

Stephanie Henkel (author) from USA on August 04, 2013:

Hi Sunshine, Glad you had a laugh out of this poem! It's Bill's birthday today, so maybe I'll read it to him...seems appropriate! LOL

Dianna Mendez on August 03, 2013:

I love your poem. As I approach the golden years, and I can now see the glow, I already experience some of the aging process. Seems like yesterday I was only a young girl wondering what to do after college. You have put this together nicely. Thanks for the lighthearted look at aging, it's a comfort we should all know.

Linda Bilyeu from Orlando, FL on August 03, 2013:

As long as we continue to be able to laugh at ourselves, getting old will be a piece of cake. I enjoyed your poems tremendously!! :)

Stephanie Henkel (author) from USA on May 23, 2013:

Ladydeonne - It sounds like you have a great attitude about aging, one that is sure to keep you young at heart! Thanks so much for stopping by to read and comment. Keep dancing! :)

Deonne Anderson from Florence, SC on May 23, 2013:

I love your wit and sense of humor and the way that you contrasted the aging of humans with the aging of old buildings. Older historical buildings are valued and loved. Our elderly population are also valued and loved. ,,,,,a national treasure . I like to believe that as I age, I will remain young at heart and that I will remain healthy and fully cognizant of what's going on in the world and around me. One of the best people. I continue to work with adolescents and they keep m on my toes. They keep me laughing and sometimes dancing. I plan to read more of your work. Thank you.

Stephanie Henkel (author) from USA on March 16, 2013:

jbshaban - So glad you were amused! :) As we can't do much to prevent getting older, we may as well smile!

jbshaban from California on March 16, 2013:

Great theme and very well done. Thanks for the amusing poem!

Demas W Jasper from Today's America and The World Beyond on November 26, 2012:

Stephanie Henkel: I will put that on my "To Do List" unless I spot a good Hub that I can resurrect for someone else, and save the synapses for later. ;-o)

Stephanie Henkel (author) from USA on November 26, 2012:

Perspycacious - While this is a lighthearted look at aging, your points about the importance of a living will are well taken. It's definitely something you should write a hub about.

Demas W Jasper from Today's America and The World Beyond on November 25, 2012:

While the poem was good fun, there comes a time when "the 100 things worth living for" grow fewer and fewer, and it becomes time to discuss with family, your physician, clergy, a best friend, etc., and put in writing what things you may want or not want done to perpetuate your life. For example do you really want "to be brought back," to have a trachiotomy, a feeding tube, a respirator, oxygen, defibrilation, chemotherapy, resuscitation, and such other forms of medical care? When? Under what circumstances? And what about possible hospice care, assisted living, etc.? Do you have a "Living Will"? We spend much of our early life preparing to live. We should spend a little of our late life preparing to move on, so that others know how we really feel, and getting to the point where we know, too.

Stephanie Henkel (author) from USA on November 25, 2012:

Perspycacious - How fortunate you are to have your mother with you and still composing poetry! I do hope she was amused by my poem! :) Thank you for sharing it with her and for your comments!

Demas W Jasper from Today's America and The World Beyond on November 24, 2012:

Great fun I shared with my venerated 104+ mother. She has written beautiful poetry too. Now she says she writes them in her head as she goes to sleep, some of them to my dad who passed aon at age 92.5.

Stephanie Henkel (author) from USA on May 29, 2012:

JTfelton - As my father-in-law used to say, old age is hell, but it's better than the alternative! Glad you enjoyed the poem - thanks for stopping by to comment!

jtfelton on May 29, 2012:

This is a clever and amusing poem...its like in your face young people. I am young and very careful not to make fun because this, hopefully i will experience in a few decades.

Great poem if I haven't said it already.

Stephanie Henkel (author) from USA on May 13, 2012:

Htodd - Glad you enjoyed my poem about getting old - hope you were amused! :)

htodd from United States on May 13, 2012:

Nice poem ..I enjoyed reading it

Stephanie Henkel (author) from USA on February 26, 2012:

RedSoxFan - There seems to be a fine line between antique, vintage and just plain old! I like to think of myself as vintage! Haha... thanks for reading and commenting!

RedSoxFan on February 26, 2012:

I loved the poem and this hub. And it's so cute, I want to have someone read it, I will be sure to direct them to your hub. Absolutely beautiful and I'm sure the next time I see a rusty old car, or a half torn down building I think of this hub!

Stephanie Henkel (author) from USA on February 24, 2012:

KDee411 - All we can do about advancing age is keep our good humor! Glad you enjoyed the poem. Thanks for reading and voting! :)

KDee411 from Bay Area, California on February 24, 2012:

I'm laughing, yes it's funny, but it's not fun. I love Stephanie,isn't that the truth middle age does seem young. Very funny.

Very cleaver poem. Vote up +


Stephanie Henkel (author) from USA on February 21, 2012:

Cosmic Bus - I think that no matter how old you are, it's an adjustment to move into the next age group! Just enjoy the moment - middle age will seem very young in a few years! :)

Cosmic Bus from Maryland on February 21, 2012:

Great! Finding middle age to be a bit disconcerting as well! Voted up.

Stephanie Henkel (author) from USA on February 21, 2012:

Dahlia flower - Glad you were amused by my poem! Thanks for the comment and the share!

Dahlia Flower from Canada on February 20, 2012:

This was really fun -- reading this poem and then your prose on old cars and buildings. You've said it all so well. Thanks for SHARING.

Stephanie Henkel (author) from USA on February 18, 2012:

KDee411 - Thanks for stopping in to read my poem on Getting Old!

KDee411 from Bay Area, California on February 18, 2012:

Very enjoyable I'll be back


Stephanie Henkel (author) from USA on February 09, 2012:

Oceansnsunsets - We can only laugh at the discomforts of old age as we don't seem to have too many choices about the advancing years - take 'em or leave 'em! Thanks for your insightful comments!

Paula from The Midwest, USA on February 09, 2012:

Hi Stephanie, oh how I loved this poem! Its so true. I work with some older people fairly often, and hear them talk all the time about all kinds of things. I think its good for everyone, no matter their age, to consider those that "seem" so different from them, but really are not!

Its so true, we ALL will be there one day, if we are lucky! I love old buildings and old cars and old things. I like how you talked about the value of life, and how some may not think much say, of an 89 year old. Your poem made me laugh in parts too, like "who is that guy, and who are you?" Voted up, awesome, funny, and interesting. Thanks for sharing another great hub.

Stephanie Henkel (author) from USA on November 17, 2011:

samanthajae - Thanks so much for your kind comments! I'm so glad you enjoyed the poem and I hope it gave you a smile!

Stephanie Henkel (author) from USA on November 17, 2011:

Alphagirl - Thanks so much for your heartwarming comment! Sorry I missed responding to it earlier - don't know how I did that, but I really appreciate your visit!

Stephanie Henkel (author) from USA on November 17, 2011:

Hi Peggy - Oh, on some days I feel older than others and am definitely not amused by getting older! In her later years, my mother was often found with a book and a cat - when I think of her now, that's how I picture her. Thanks so much for stopping by and for your comments!

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on November 17, 2011:

Hi Stephanie,

Oh I can so relate to this poem of yours!!! It is funny but also contains much truth. Your beautiful mother looks great in the photo relaxing with that book and cat on her lap. Also liked your words about the old rusted cars, buildings and antiques. Beauty comes in all forms. Up votes!

samanthajae on November 17, 2011:

Hi I like your poem very much.

It is interestingly witty yet conveys an important message.

Keep writing :)

Mae Williams from USA on November 15, 2011:

I loved your poem. It was heartfelt from someone who may be getting older on the outside. You have a great spirit. Your poem made me laugh as well as cry, all so true!

Stephanie Henkel (author) from USA on November 15, 2011:

Wordscribe - Many other cultures seem to have a great respect for the wisdom and experience of their elderly that we do not find here. It's sad. Thank you for stopping by to share your thoughts!

Stephanie Henkel (author) from USA on November 15, 2011:

Cow Skeleton Hill - Thanks for stopping by to visit my hub and comment.

Elsie Nelson from Pacific Northwest, USA on November 15, 2011:

Stephanie, this is beautiful. It is so sad how forgotten our older generation is in this country. I loved in Japan for a few years and was stunned by the contrast- the senior population is revered and highly respected there, as it should be. I don't know what went wrong here in the US....

Cow Skeleton Hill from Florida on November 15, 2011:

Beautifully crafted. Check out my poems too!

Stephanie Henkel (author) from USA on November 14, 2011:

Arusho - It's funny that when we're young, we're impatient for time to move more quickly, and never think that one day it will have moved too fast. Thanks for stopping in to comment!

arusho from University Place, Wa. on November 14, 2011:

Great poem and very good advice. That's a good way to look at aging and youth, that the young are getting older too!

Stephanie Henkel (author) from USA on November 14, 2011:

Movie Master - Thank you for saying that about my mother. She did have beautiful white hair and a sweet nature, and this picture is very much how I remember her. Thanks for stopping by and for your nice comments about my poem!

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