THE RETIREMENT POEMS
Welcome to The Retirement Poems Café, the webpage on The Retirement Quotes Café
that brings you the best retirement party verse for the retired or soon-to-be retired man, woman, teacher, school
principal, nurse, military person, soldier, policeman, firefighter, pastor, letter carrier, etc. Best of all, these
are all that you can use as ideas to write your own. Also check out the retirement quotes on the home
Traditional Retirement Poem
Here is a poem to inspire you to greater heights, regardless of your age and your
Come, my friends,
'Tis not too late to seek a newer world.
Push off, and sitting well in order smite
The sounding furrows; for my purpose holds
To sail beyond the sunset, and the baths
Of all the western stars, until I die.
It may be that the gulfs will wash us down:
It may be we shall touch the Happy Isles,
And see the great Achilles, whom we knew.
Tho' much is taken, much abides; and tho'
We are not now that strength which in old days
Moved the earth and heaven; that which we are, we are;
One equal temper of heroic hearts,
Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will
To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.
— from Ulysses by Alfred Tennyson
Modern Poems about Retirement
Also check out the retirement quotes and retirement
sentiments) for those who want to know how to retire happy, wild, and free.
One of Many Funny Poems
Happy retirement days are here at last.
The days of toil and stress are long past.
I worked almost all my life so that I can play.
Do I want to go back to work?
Absolutely, no way!
— Dave Erhard (COPYRIGHT © - Used with Special
Another Poem for a
Here's to Mark
A great guy to whom we say goodbye.
We will miss his charm and presence ... no one has to ask why.
We will miss his creativity, his humor, and his smile.
But we are sure that Mark will use these traits to make his retirement worthwhile!
— Dave Erhard (COPYRIGHT
© - Used with
You can always pen your own poems either about yourself or for someone else. If written for a
retiring colleague, your poems should express affection for the person leaving and recognition for their
contributions. These retirement poems can be included in retirement letters and retirement speeches to enhance their
Here is one of several corny retirement poems for men (written for a retiring colleague):
Bill Hagen, work is now past you
Allow me these words to say
You are now free as a bird,
Today is your retirement day.
Erhard (COPYRIGHT © - Used with Special
One of a different
Retirement is the time of your
for you to be
all that you planned to be.
To live life for the moment
to live happy, wild, and free.
— Dave Erhard (COPYRIGHT
© - Used with
So many worlds,
So much to see and do,
So little seen
and done by others,
means many more things
to be seen and done
by extraordinary you.
— from Life's Secret Handbook (Reminders for Adventurous Souls Who Want to Make a Big
Difference in This World) © by Ernie Zelinski
Poem about the Right
Retirement Gift to Give to a Female
You can say it with flowers
You can say it with wine
But to make her stinkin' sentimental
Say it with a Lincoln Continental.
— Robert Byrne
The other day a man asked me what I thought was the best time of life. "Why," I
answered without a thought, "now."
— David Grayson
Up, sluggard, and waste not life; in the grave will be sleeping enough.
— Ben Franklin
Here is a funny retirement poem that hopefully won't deject you too much about your upcoming
An Ode to Old Age
There's quite an art to falling apart as the years go by,
And life doesn't begin at 40.
That's a big fat lie.
My hair's getting thinner, my body is not:
The few teeth I have are beginning to rot.
I smell of Vick's Vapo Rub, not Chanel #5;
My new pacemaker's all that keeps me alive.
When asked of my past, every detail I'll know,
But, what was I doing 10 minutes ago?
Well, you get the idea, what more can I say?
I'm off to read the obituary, like I do every day;
If my names there, I'll once again start —
perfecting the art of falling apart.
— Unknown Wise Person
Here is a inspirational retirement poem that is a little more positive about being retired.
Making the Most of
Goodbye to work, you are on a high — you don't have to ask why!
You now gladly say adieu to your working life — goodbye to toil and strife.
Tomorrow, when morning comes at noon, you will lie in bed and look up at the
There will be no one there to give you orders or more work — what a great
As the noon sun shines through your window, you will hear a dog bark and the noise
of someone's feet.
It's the letter carrier, poor working soul, delivering your mail, you can hear him
in the street.
Within you will come a warming glow — your new life will have just begun.
This is the day that you have looked forward to — knowing that all your work has
Shortly, you will arise, get dressed, relax — there's still time left in the day for
You will make the most of it — knowing that most of your friends are at work
stressed and mentally aching.
Will there be any reason to feel any stress or guilt at this time of your life?
Only when you forget to wake up early and make breakfast for your poor working
— Dave Erhard (COPYRIGHT
© — Used with Special
Poem to Help You
Enjoy Your Retirement
The following words of this poem were penned over 100 years ago by poet and writer Rudyard
Kipling (perhaps better known for creating The Jungle Book):
I keep six honest serving-men
(They taught me all I knew);
Their names are What and Why and When
And How and Where and Who."
— Rudyard Kipling
Two Modern Retirement
The origins of this Irish Poem about retirement is unknown:
May you always have work for your hands to do.
May your pockets hold always a coin or two.
May the sun shine bright on your windowpane.
May the rainbow be certain to follow each rain.
May the hand of a friend always be near you.
And may God fill your heart with gladness to cheer you.
— Irish Retirement Blessing
This poem was submitted to me by Tom Crouse in 2012:
I CAN STILL MATTER
As time passes on
I turn the next page
To discover a new me
while I continue to age.
I may no longer be
Who I was long ago
But I still can matter —
That much I know.
With a new set of tools
I have gathered from time —
I keep looking forward
To more mountains to climb.
My best is not over
As the skeptics might say —
I just learn how to conquer
In a much wiser way.
So don’t sell me short —
I am not nearly done —
I CAN STILL MATTER —
I’ve only just begun.
© Copyright 2012 — Tom Krause
with Special Permission from:
Four Retirement Poems by Famous People
An elegant sufficiency, content,
Retirement, rural quiet, friendship, books,
Ease and alternate labour, useful life,
Progressive virtue, and approving Heaven!
— James Thomson, 1700-1748,
Don't you stay at home of evenings?
Don't you love a cushioned seat
In a corner, by the fireside, with your slippers on your feet?
— Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr
Fear no more the heat o' th' sun,
Nor the furious winter's rages.
Thou thy worldly task hast done,
Home art gone and ta'en thy wages.
— William Shakespeare
O, blest retirement! Friend to life's decline -
How blest is he who crowns, in shades like these,
A youth of labor with an age of ease!
Penned by a Retiree in
Here is a poem written by a retiree who resides in Singapore.
Ode to Retirement
I can read and write and paint.
Can even aspire to be a saint.
I could travel, teach and tutor.
Share guide and mentor Someone.
You my friends can remain blind
Or see in me a New find
Making again a difference.
— Ramasami Natarajan
A Humorous Retirement
Penned by an Unknown
Here is another poem written by a soon-to-be retiree who doesn't know when he will be a senior
— whatever that is:
Retirement — It's All in How You
Play the Game, Isn't It?
Let's see now. How will I know when I am a senior.
Some places give me a senior's discount at 55, some at 60 and some at 65.
My government pension will be sent to me when I am 65.
My company will arbitrarily retire me at 65. (I'm going to beat them to the punch and retire at
So that means that parts of our society think 'senior' begins at 55.
How will I personally know?
Well, with a little bit of luck, I don't think I'll ever know.
It's all in how you play the game, isn't it?
— Unknown wise person
Retirement Poem for Any
Who Wants to Enjoy Not Being
I would be married, but I'd have no wife.
I would be married to the single life.
— Richard Crashaw (Poet in 17th Century)
A Poem By John Milton
On His Blindness
When I consider how my light is spent
Ere half my days in this dark world and wide,
And that one talent which is death to hide
Lodg'd with me useless, though my soul more bent
To serve therewith my Maker, and present
My true account, lest he returning chide,
"Doth God exact day-labour, light denied?"
I fondly ask. But Patience, to prevent
That murmur, soon replies: "God doth not need
Either man's work or his own gifts: who best
Bear his mild yoke, they serve him best. His state
Is kingly; thousands at his bidding speed
And post o'er land and ocean without rest:
They also serve who only stand and wait."
— John Milton
Two More Poems to Help You
Learn to live well, or fairly make your will;
You've played, and loved, and ate, and drunk your fill:
Walk sober off; before a sprightlier age
Comes tittering on, and shoves you from the stage:
Leave such to trifle with more grace and ease,
Whom Folly pleases, and whose Follies please.
— Alexander Pope (1688-1744), English satirical poet.
Absence of occupation is not rest.
A mind quite vacant is a mind distress'd.
— William Cowper
Two Poems with a Zen
Ten thousand flowers in spring
the moon in autumn,
a cool breeze in summer,
snow in winter.
If your mind isn't clouded by unnecessary things,
this is the best season of your life.
Youth, large, lusty, loving-
Youth, full of grace, force, fascination.
Do you know that Old Age may come after you with equal grace, force,
— Walt Whitman
Like a retirement poem or retirement party verse, a good quote about retirement can bring
attention to the point you are making in your retirement card accompanying a retirement gift or
retirement speech. Here are seven retirement quotes that you may want to consider:
#1 of Seven Retirement Quotes
But what, it may be asked, are the requisites for a life of retirement? A man may be
weary of the toils and torments of business, and yet quite unfit for the tranquil retreat. Without
literature, friendship, and religion, retirement is in most cases found to be a dead, flat level, a barren
waste, and a blank. Neither the body nor the soul can enjoy health and life in a vacuum.
#2 of Seven Retirement Quotes
Sex is Number 1 of my Top 10 joys in retirement. Number 2 is reading
How to Retire Happy, Wild, and
Free. I forgot the other 8.
— from Graffiti for the Enlightened Soul
#3 of Seven Retirement Quotes
Retirement is wonderful if you have two essentials — much to live on and much to live
for. I believe that I now have both.
— Unknown wise person
#4 of Seven Retirement Quotes
By the age of 65, most of us have accomplished whatever work-related goals we are going
to reach. If you haven't done it by then, chances are you aren't going to do it. Take the retirement, take
the pension, take the Social Security, and sail off into the sunset.
— Sue Lasky
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#5 of Seven Retirement Quotes
You think your job is tough — try trading with Ernie Zelinski. His [retirement] job is not working,
and he's been doing it successfully for the last 14 years.
— Keiko Ohnuma, Business Writer, Oakland Tribune (writing about
Joy of Not Working)
#6 of Seven Retirement Quotes
I still find each day too short for all the thoughts I want to think,
all the walks I want to take, all the books I want to read, and all
the friends I want to see.
— John Burrough
#7 of Seven Retirement Quotes
Age [along with retirement] appears to be best in four things — old wood best to burn,
old wine to drink, old friends to trust, and old authors to read.
— Francis Bacon
Again, poems about retirement can add a lot of humor and body to retirement dinner speeches, but so can
quotations about retirement. Go to the home page on this website and you will find many more quotations ideal to
add to your retirement cards or retirement party ideas.
A Teacher Retirement Poem by Richard Armour
Retired is being twice tired, I've thought
First tired of working,
Then tired of not.
Teacher Retirement Motto
I Used to Teach — Now I
Have No Class.
A Retirement Poem by Robert Browning
Grow old with me!
The best is yet to be.
— Robert Browning
Retirement Poems by Henry Wadsworth
Age is opportunity no less,
Than youth itself, though in another dress,
And as the evening twilight fades away,
The sky is filled with stars, invisible by day.
— Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Enjoy the Spring of Love and Youth,
To some good angel leave the rest;
For Time will teach thee soon the truth,
There are no birds in last year's nest!
— Henry Wadsworth
Verse by William Butler Yeats
When you are old and gray and full of
And nodding by the fire, take down this book,
And slowly read, and dream of the soft look
Your eyes had once, and of their shadows deep;
— William Butler Yeats
for the School Principal or Any Other Retiree Who Wants to Truly Enjoy the Moment When He or She
Happy the man, and happy he
He who can call today his own;
He who, secure within, can say,
Tomorrow, do thy worst, for I have lived today.
— John Dryden
No longer forward nor
I look in hope or fear;
But, grateful, take the good I find,
The best of now and here.
— John Greenleaf Whittier
Glad that I live am I;
That the sky is blue;
Glad for the country lanes,
And the fall of dew.
— Lizette W. Reese
“People report being happier when they are with friends than when they’re with a spouse or
child,” according to research cited in a recent cover story in Psychology
Today magazine. This, indeed, is something for retirees to ponder. Since
friendship is an important aspect of having a happy retirement, retirees should check out the:
Friendship Poems on the Friendship
Poems on The Retirement
Cafe by Ernie Zelinski
Retiree's Poem (or
Late to rise
Early to bed
Collect that pension
Before you're dead.
— Author Unknown
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to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free if you look forward to a retirement with 'zing.'
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COPYRIGHT © 2015 by Ernie J.
of The World's Best Retirement