Our Aching Bones, Our Breaking Hearts
Poems on Aging
by Joel Savishinsky
Scheduled Release Date: Apr 15, 2023
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We confront our own aging long before we ourselves become old. Through the roles we play as family, friends, or caregivers to our elders, we learn to anticipate our own later years. Drawing on the author’s half-century career in gerontology and anthropology, the poems of Our Aching Bones, Our Breaking Hearts explore the physical, emotional, and spiritual impact of the aging experience on the nurses and patients, parents and grandparents, retirees and volunteers, Holocaust survivors and roommates, and elderly spouses and mourners he has known.
The poet shares stories in a variety of settings, which include a summer camp, an orchard, a national park, a nursery and a nursing home, hospitals, an older couple’s marital bed, and the steps of a small-town front porch. At the core of these stories stand the aging body and mind, the well-worn heart, deep reservoirs of humor, love, and anger, and the longing, defiance, regret and gratitude of life’s concluding decades.
“Infused with passion, resentment, frustration, and love, without undue gloom or false cheer, Joel Savishinsky’s poetry captures the essential conundrum of life: whether we rage or go gently, the light will die. Savishinsky inhabits characters immersed in their own, and others’ experiences. He captures the essential irony, that the body almost always fails the mind, that we need more than safe shelter to maintain our spirits, and that trading the pain of living for mindless security is a fool’s bargain. Whether speaking as the main character or an observer, these poems ring true and prescient.”
—D Ferrara, founder of San Fedele Press,
editor of Art in the Time of COVID-19