Poem / reading ideas for a 50th anniversary
April 9, 2016 10:48 AM   Subscribe

What poems / readings would you recommend for a 50th Anniversary? My parents have been having health issues so I would prefer to avoid the usual "ha ha you're falling apart" joke poems about pills and getting infirm. They are somewhat stoic but have a good sense of humor.
posted by benzenedream to Media & Arts (7 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Unending Love by Rabindranath Tagore
posted by invisible ink at 12:58 PM on April 9, 2016

Many of Shakespeare's sonnets discuss love that lasts into old age. Number 73 immediately comes to mind, although it does have a line about approaching death. 104 is also nice. I can't think of any other specific ones off the top of my head, but a scan through the whole collection would probably yield more possibilities.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 1:06 PM on April 9, 2016

For Shakespeare, I think Sonnet #116 is pretty good.

Let me not to the marriage of true minds
Admit impediments. Love is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds,
Or bends with the remover to remove:
O no; it is an ever-fixed mark,
That looks on tempests, and is never shaken;
It is the star to every wandering bark,
Whose worth's unknown, although his height be taken.
Love's not Time's fool, though rosy lips and cheeks
Within his bending sickle's compass come;
Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,
But bears it out even to the edge of doom.
If this be error and upon me proved,
I never writ, nor no man ever loved.

I've also always been very fond of a bit from Captain Corelli's Mandolin by Louis De Bernieres:

Love is a temporary madness. It erupts like an earthquake and then subsides. And when it subsides you have to make a decision. You have to work out whether your roots have become so entwined together that it is inconceivable that you should ever part. Because this is what love is. Love is not breathlessness, it is not excitement, it is not the promulgation of promises of eternal passion. That is just being "in love" which any of us can convince ourselves we are. Love itself is what is left over when being in love has burned away, and this is both an art and a fortunate accident. Your mother and I had it, we had roots that grew towards each other underground, and when all the pretty blossoms had fallen from our branches we found that we were one tree and not two.
posted by xyzzy at 1:14 PM on April 9, 2016 [2 favorites]

Beatles: In My Life (I loved you more)
posted by SemiSalt at 4:51 PM on April 9, 2016

Animals and Having a Coke With You by Frank O'Hara

Valentine by John Fuller
posted by FencingGal at 6:35 PM on April 9, 2016

Oh - and You're the Top by Cole Porter. It's a song, but it could be read as a poem.
posted by FencingGal at 6:40 PM on April 9, 2016

At my parents' 50th, the speeches that got the best response were ones that tied into some old family stories, rather than readings from poetry or songs. These were things we had been hearing at every family gathering for years. Like the fact that my dad didn't have enough cash when they went to get the marriage license so they "went dutch" and each paid half - now 50 years later he can confirm that was the best $1.50 he ever spent in his life.
posted by CathyG at 8:00 AM on April 10, 2016 [1 favorite]

« Older How to fix this Automator script?   |   Respecting religious differences in emotionally... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.