Intrepid Optimist

Intrepid Optimist is the place where I can share my stories; fact, fiction and thoughts from the past and present. It’s Written by myself for people who believe adventure knows no age

Let me Die a Young Man’s Death

Somewhere around 300 BC, the Greek philosopher, Epicuros  wrote that, “The art of living well and the art of dying well are one.” He believed that individuals can live in happiness, strengthened by the continuing experience of modest pleasures.

His  philosophy is to have a happy, serene life, in peace and freedom from fear, and the absence of pain, by living an independent life surrounded by friends. He also taught that pleasure and pain are the standards of what is good and evil in life; that death is the end of the body and the soul and should therefore not be feared because god does not reward or punish us.

It is a most enlightened philosophy  but I doubt but that very few  have achieved Epicuros’s maxim.

I belatedly came across the work of Roger McGough,  the Liverpudlian poet and member of the 70s group, The Scaffold. His poem, Let me die a young man’s death, sums up the way the way I’m sure most of us would like to take that final curtain call. In other words, not just yet.

Let me die a youngman’s death

not a clean & inbetween

the sheets holywater death

not a famous-last-words

peaceful out of breath death


When I’m 73

& 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

& sitting in a barber’s chair

may rival gangsters

with hamfisted tommyguns burst in

& give me a short back & insides


Or when I’m 104

& banned from the Cavern

may my mistress

catching me in bed with her daughter

& fearing her son

cut me up into little pieces

& throw away every piece but one


Let me die a youngman’s death

not a free from sin tiptoe in

candle wax & waning death

not a curtains drawn by angels borne

‘what a nice way to go’ death

About bbryanthomas

Not so young man about town who, having witnessed and enjoyed life, is presently having fun, writing about those by-gone times and life in general.

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This entry was posted on August 18, 2017 by in History, Non-fiction, Philosophy, Stories and tagged , , , .
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