In my final response to Shakespeare’s ‘seven ages’ of man, this sonnet rejects the suggestion that decline in old age is “mere oblivion”. In a society that treasures “expressions of perfection”, it’s not surprising that we “shun” old age and cognitive decline.
However, my capping couplet attests, that if Shakespeare’s “second childishness” is akin to that of the “infant”, then logic suggests we should love the “elder” of the two in equal measure.
As the final sonnet of this collection, the title forms a pair with the penultimate ‘Sixth Sense‘. This caps off my ‘seven ages’ demi-collection. In the second half of this collection of 14 sonnets, I will explore the relationship between love and the seven deadly sins.
Sans Sense The seventh age is noted for what’s sans As sense and senses melt like candle wax: We take for granted what’s good till it’s gone The frozen pond’s a playground till it cracks. To never have’s an aching, nagging pain A burden borne, an unremitting cost; To lose what’s had is piercing needle rain That pricks parts of the brain that feel what’s lost. Who would not wish to stroke de Milo’s arms? Or sail beneath Colossus in the sun? Expressions of perfection have their charms While decay and decline do oglers shun. But if the infant’s loved for childishness Why should we love the elder any less?