The tragedy of old age is not that one is old, but that one is young.
OSCAR WILDE, The Picture of Dorian Gray
The complete life, the perfect pattern, includes old age as well as youth and maturity. The beauty of the morning and the radiance of noon are good, but it would be a very silly person who drew the curtains and turned on the light in order to shut out the tranquillity of the evening. Old age has its pleasures, which, though different, are not less than the pleasures of youth.
W. SOMERSET MAUGHAM, The Summing Up
No man loves life like him that's growing old.
SOPHOCLES, Acrisius [fragment]
The old are in a second childhood.
- Grow old along with me!
- The best is yet to be,
- The last of life, for which the first was made.
ROBERT BROWNING, Rabbi ben Ezra
When we're young we have faith in what is seen, but when we're old we know that what is seen is traced in air and built on water.
MAXWELL ANDERSON, Winterset
Old men’s prayers for death are lying prayers, in which they abuse old age and long extent of life. But when death draws near, not one is willing to die, and age no longer is a burden to them.
There's one advantage to being 102. There's no peer pressure.
DENNIS WOLFBERG, Humorous Quotes for All Occasions
All my life I've been taught how to die, but no one ever taught me how to grow old.
BILLY GRAHAM, Newsweek, Aug. 14, 2006
I do not wish to grow old, to outlive my illusions. Only a short respite from cares and sorrow, a brief time of flowers, and music, and love, and laughter, and ecstatic tears.
ANNE REEVE ALDRICH, "An Evening With Callender"
I truly believe that age -- if you're healthy -- age is just a number.
HUGH HEFNER, interview, Apr. 8, 2006
I'm eighty-three and homeless. It was the same when World War II ended. The Army kept me on because I could type, so I was typing other people's discharges and stuff. And my feeling was "Please, I've done everything I was supposed to do. Can I go home now?" That what I feel right now. I've written books. Lots of them. Please, I've done everything I'm supposed to do. Can I go home now? I've wondered where home is. It's when I was in Indianapolis when I was nine years old. Had a dog, a cat, a brother, a sister.
KURT VONNEGUT, JR., Rolling Stone, Aug. 24, 2006
- Once a happy old man
- One can never change the core of things, and light burns you the harder for it.
JOHN ASHBERY, "A Last World"
There is this difference between the grief of youth and that of old age: youth's burden is lightened by as much of it as another shares; old age may give and give, but the sorrow remains the same.
O. HENRY, "The Count and the Wedding Guest"
The Disappointment of Manhood succeeds to the delusion of Youth: let us hope that the heritage of Old Age is not Despair.
BENJAMIN DISRAELI, Vivian Grey
Amidst all the wonders recorded in holy writ no instance can be produced where a young woman from real inclination has preferred an old man.
GEORGE WASHINGTON, letter to the Marquis de Lafayette, Sep. 30, 1779
The older I grow, the more I distrust the familiar doctrine that age brings wisdom.
H.L. MENCKEN, Prejudices: Third Series
It is because the old have forgotten life that they preach wisdom.
PHILIP MOELLER, Helena's Husband
Old age is the most unexpected of all the things that can happen to a man.
LEON TROTSKY, Diary in Exile
- There is no place in which to hide
- When Age comes seeking for his bride.
JOYCE KILMER, "Age Comes A-Wooing"
They only name things after you when you're dead or really old.
GEORGE H.W. BUSH, speech, Apr. 26, 1999
I've finally reached the age where my Wild Oats have turned into All-Bran!
TOM WILSON, Ziggy, Nov. 19, 1999
When you get old, you can't talk to people because people snap at you.... That's why you become deaf, so you won't be able to hear people talking to you that way.
EDWARD ALBEE, The American Dream
- What is the worst of woes that wait on age?
- What stamps the wrinkle deeper on the brow?
- To view each loved one blotted from life's page,
- And be alone on earth, as I am now.
LORD BYRON, Childe Harold
If I knew I was going to live this long, I'd have taken better care of myself.
As we grow older, we must discipline ourselves to continue expanding, broadening, learning, keeping out minds active and open.
It seems only the old are able to sit next to one another and not say anything and still feel content. The young, brash and impatient, must always break the silence. It is a waste, for silence is pure. Silence is holy. It draws people together because only those who are comfortable with each other can sit without speaking. This is the great paradox.
NICHOLAS SPARKS, The Notebook
What you lose as you age is witnesses, the ones that watched from early on and cared, like your own little grandstand.
JOHN UPDIKE, Rabbit is Rich
It cuts one sadly to see the grief of old people; they've no way o' working it off; and the new spring brings no new shoots out on the withered tree.
- An aged man is but a paltry thing,
- A tattered coat upon a stick, unless
- Soul clap its hands and sing
WILLIAM BUTLER YEATS, "Sailing to Byzantium"
When you're five, you know your age down to the month. Even in your twenties you know how hold you are. I'm twenty-three, you say, or maybe twenty-seven. But then in your thirties something strange starts to happen. It's a mere hiccup at first, an instant of hesitation. How old are you? Oh, I'm--you start confidently, but then you stop. You were going to say thirty-three, but you're not. You're thirty-five. And then you're bothered, because you wonder if this is the beginning of the end. It is, of course, but it's decades before you admit it.
SARA GRUEN, Water for Elephants
- As life runs on, the road grows strange
- With faces new, and near the end
- The milestones into headstones change,
- 'Neath every one a friend.
JAMES RUSSELL LOWELL, Sixty-eighth Birthday
Getting older was definitely preferable to an up close and personal meeting with the Grim Reaper.
JOANN ROSS, No Safe Place
- And now the end is near
- And so I face the final curtain,
- I’ll state my case of which I’m certain.
- I’ve lived a life that’s full, I traveled each and ev’ry highway,
- And more, much more than this. I did it my way.
FRANK SINATRA, My Way (lyrics by Paul Anka)
- Age overtakes us all;
- Our temples first; then on o'er cheek and chin,
- Slowly and surely, creep the frosts of Time.
- Up and do somewhat, ere thy limbs are sere.
THEOCRITUS, "The Love of Thyonichus"
The secret of a good old age is simply an honorable pact with solitude.
GABRIEL GARCÍA MÁRQUEZ, One Hundred Years of Solitude
This week, a 95-year-old woman married a 98-year-old man to become the world’s oldest newlyweds. They’re registered at Bed, Sponge Bath and Beyond.
JIMMY FALLON, Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, Mar. 2, 2012
The great secret that all old people share is that you really haven't changed in seventy or eighty years. Your body changes, but you don't change at all. And that, of course, causes great confusion.
DORIS LESSING, The Sunday Times, May 10, 1992
The great renunciation of old age as it prepared for death, wraps itself up in its chrysalis, which may be observed at the end of lives that are at all prolonged, even in old lovers who have lived for one another, in old friends bound by the closest ties of mutual sympathy, who, after a certain year, cease to make the necessary journey or even to cross the street to see one another, cease to correspond, and know that they will communicate no more in this world.
MARCEL PROUST, Swann's Way
Age is information failure. The body loses fluency.
JEANETTE WINTERSON, The Stone Gods
There is only one solution if old age is not to be an absurd parody of our former life, and that is to go on pursuing ends that give our existence a meaning.
SIMONE DE BEAUVOIR, The Coming of Age
Old men's eyes are like old men's memories; they are strongest for things a long way off.
- For age is opportunity no less
- Than youth itself, though in another dress,
- And as the evening twilight fades away
- The sky is filled with stars, invisible by day.
HENRY WADSWORTH LONGFELLOW, "Morituri Salutamus"
The art of growing old is the art of being regarded by the oncoming generations as a support and not as a stumbling-block.
ANDRÉ MAUROIS, An Art of Living
I have so many liver spots, I ought to come with a side of onions.
PHYLLIS DILLER, "Phyllis Diller's Best One-Liners," CBS News, Aug. 21, 2012
Age is never so old as youth would measure it.
JACK LONDON, "The Wit of Porportuk"
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Poems on Old Age - a collection of poetry on old age.