Sunday, November 18, 2007

Old Age is Not for Sissies by Ed Galing

Old Age is Not for Sissies
By Ed Galing
50 pages at $5 paperback
Peerless Press
3435 Mill Rd.
Hatboro PA 19040

The venerable Poet Laureate of Hatboro PA is still plugging away creating chapbooks, submitting poetry to journals, and grabbing life by the lapels. From the retrospective of nine decades, Galing’s poetry cuts to the heart of life and living. In this chapbook he addresses the vicissitudes of aging and fondly turns the pages of his life with an occasional bit of help from his cartoon friend, Sadie the Psychic. Always, Ed Galing looks at life with humor and acceptance.

“Longevity” commemorates centenarians introduced by Willard Scott on TV. Galing enjoys the show, and wonders if he’ll make it to age 100:

…then my knee starts
to hurt

as I head into the
kitchen for a cup
of coffee and an

In “A Bit of Philosophy” Galing contemplates life, love, happiness, sorrow, and wonders if his poetry makes any kind of impression on anyone. Before poem’s end, he gives himself and his readers a mental shaking:

Hell, it ain’t easy getting old…
it ain’t for sissies…

now stop your sniveling, and wipe your nose!
and eat your farina!

“So, Where are We, Anyway?” is an amazing poem, simple and powerful and typical Galing:

growing old
might grey your hair
and bend your back

but need not erase
a bright smile on your

and the gentle fond
remembrance of the days
when your life was full
of sunshine, beaches, parties,
love, laughter and adventures.

growing old
only makes you
stop wasting your days.

I’m always delighted to find a new Ed Galing chapbook in my mailbox. I read his work and hope with each new book, hope some publisher will see the lifetime of grit and joy on every page, as I do. If it were in my power, a publishing contract would be Ed Galing’s Christmas miracle this year.

Review by Laurel Johnson for Midwest Book Review

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