Monday, April 13, 2009

Happy 103rd, Sam

Words [Trying to sing, softly]:

Age is when to man
Huddled o'er the ingle
Shivering for the hag
To put the pen in the bed
And bring the toddy
She comes in the ashes
Who loved could not be won
Or won not loved
Or some other trouble
Comes in the ashes
Like in that cold light
The faces in the ashes
That old starlight
On the earth again.
[Long pause.]

From Words and Music
Written in English and completed towards the end of 1961.
First broadcast on the BBC Third Programme on November 13th, 1962
Samuel Beckett (13 April 1906 - 22. December 1989)


Waiting for Sam

Pitch 'n' Putt with Joyce 'n' Beckett


  1. The poem is eloquent.
    It certainly portrays a cumbersome and unattractive endurance which can be experienced by an aged person.

  2. It's hard for me to associate the word 'happy' with Beckett. In one of his 'mirlitonnades', he wrote:

    sleep till death
    come ease
    this life disease.

    Not exactly cheerful! Yet, I love him, not out of compassion for the grayness of his world, but with great respect for the lucidity, the sparsity and the clear beauty of his voice.

    RIP, Sam. You're where you wanted to be. I'm not sure you're any happier.

  3. Ardent,
    quite. And certainly for many people there is more than a grain of truth in what Bette Davis once stated: For getting old one should not be a coward.

    he's certainly not often seen breaking out into a homerice laughter in public, but would rather go to the cellar when fancy for a good laughter.
    Still, once he would agree to meet you, he'd make you feel welcome ... and sometimes one would even detect a tiny trembling in the corners of his mouth. :)

  4. Sean,
    I'll take your word for it. And stop pitying his poor wife. Of course, only she could tell!....