Loveable > > Texts & Quotes

11 Best Poems About Retirement

Retirement marks a significant milestone in one’s life, a time of transition, reflection, and new beginnings. It is a chapter filled with mixed emotions as individuals bid farewell to their professional careers and embark on a new journey of relaxation and personal fulfillment. 

Poetry has long been a medium for capturing the essence of various life experiences, and retirement is no exception. In this compilation, we present the 11 best poems about retirement, each offering unique perspectives, heartfelt sentiments, and inspiring messages to celebrate this momentous occasion. 

11 Best Poems About Retirement For You 

1. “Retirement” By William Wordsworth

Poems About Retirement

“Retirement” is a poem written by the renowned English Romantic poet William Wordsworth. In this poem, he contemplates the joys and solace of retiring to a quiet and idyllic natural setting, where one can find respite from the demands of society and connect with the beauty of the surrounding environment.

“If the whole weight of what we think and feel,

Save only far as thought and feeling blend

With action, were as nothing, patriot Friend!

From thy remonstrance would be no appeal;

But to promote and fortify the weal

Of our own Being is her paramount end;

A truth which they alone shall comprehend

Who shun the mischief which they cannot heal.

Peace in these feverish times is sovereign bliss:

Here, with no thirst but what the stream can slake,

And startled only by the rustling brake,

Cool air I breathe; while the unincumbered Mind

By some weak aims at services assigned

To gentle Natures, thanks not Heaven amiss.”

2. “Some Days retired from the rest” By Emily Dickinson

“Some Days retired from the rest” is a poem written by the renowned American poet Emily Dickinson (1830-86). In this brief yet profound piece, Dickinson muses on the appeal of solitude and introspection. She explores the notion of taking respite from the busyness and chaos of the world, finding solace in moments of seclusion. This poem invites readers to contemplate the value of introspection and the serenity that can be found in moments of quiet reflection.

“Some Days retired from the rest

In soft distinction lie

The Day that a Companion came

Or was obliged to die –”

3. ‘Sailing to Byzantium’ By W. B. Yeats

‘Sailing to Byzantium’ By W. B. Yeats

“Sailing to Byzantium” is a renowned poem by W. B. Yeats, where he contemplates aging, mortality, and the desire for artistic immortality. The poem explores the tension between human transience and the timeless power of art, inviting readers to reflect on life’s complexities and the enduring allure of artistic creation.

“That is no country for old men. The young

In one another’s arms, birds in the trees,

—Those dying generations—at their song,

The salmon-falls, the mackerel-crowded seas,

Fish, flesh, or fowl, commend all summer long

Whatever is begotten, born, and dies.

Caught in that sensual music all neglect

Monuments of unageing intellect …”

4. ‘Sympathy in White Major’ by Philip Larkin

Poems About Retirement

“Sympathy in White Major” by Philip Larkin not only features a mouth-watering description of making a gin and tonic, but it also delves into the intricate connection between oneself and society. Like many of Larkin’s poems, it explores the dynamic between the individual and the world surrounding them, offering insights into the complexities of our relationship with society.

“When I drop four cubes of ice

Chimingly in a glass, and add

Three goes of gin, a lemon slice,

And let a ten-ounce tonic void

In foaming gulps until it smothers

Everything else up to the edge,

I lift the lot in private pledge:

He devoted his life to others.

While other people wore like clothes

The human beings in their days

I set myself to bring to those

Who thought I could the lost displays;

It didn’t work for them or me,

But all concerned were nearer thus

(Or so we thought) to all the fuss

Than if we’d missed it separately.

A decent chap, a real good sort,

Straight as a die, one of the best,

A brick, a trump, a proper sport,

Head and shoulders above the rest;

How many Iives would have been duller

Had he not been here below?

Here’s to the whitest man I know –

Though white is not my favourite colour.”

5. ‘Warning’ by Jenny Joseph

This poem’s character, a middle-aged woman, imagines herself as a cheeky rebel in later years, inspiring conferences and funerals and bringing joy to people of all ages worldwide.

‘Warning’ by Jenny Joseph

“When I am an old woman I shall wear purple

With a red hat which doesn’t go, and doesn’t suit me.

And I shall spend my pension on brandy and summer gloves

And satin sandals, and say we’ve no money for butter.

I shall sit down on the pavement when I’m tired

And gobble up samples in shops and press alarm bells

And run my stick along the public railings

And make up for the sobriety of my youth.

I shall go out in my slippers in the rain

And pick flowers in other people’s gardens

And learn to spit.

You can wear terrible shirts and grow more fat

And eat three pounds of sausages at a go

Or only bread and pickle for a week

And hoard pens and pencils and beermats and things in boxes.

But now we must have clothes that keep us dry

And pay our rent and not swear in the street

And set a good example for the children.

We must have friends to dinner and read the papers.

But maybe I ought to practise a little now?

So people who know me are not too shocked and surprised

When suddenly I am old, and start to wear purple.”

6. William Cowper, ‘Retirement’

The Olney Hymns were composed in Buckinghamshire, specifically in the village of Olney, located a short distance north of the new town of Milton Keynes, during the 1770s. The musical contribution came from John Newton, while the poet William Cowper penned the lyrics. Within a Christian context, this poem paints a serene and captivating image of retirement, conveying a sense of tranquility and peace.

Far from the world, O Lord, I flee,

From strife and tumult far;

From scenes where Satan wages still

His most successful war.

The calm retreat, the silent shade,

With prayer and praise agree;

And seem, by Thy sweet bounty made,

For those who follow Thee …

7. Hello to a New World – Unknown

Hello to a New World - Unknown

Done your time,

Put in long hours, too,

And now, you’re ready to retire.

That doesn’t mean your life will end,

Indeed, it’s just about to begin,

Great moments lie in wait for you

where life is free of schedules

time clocks and company rules,

Adventures abound like sparkling jewels,

A world of fun discoveries to relate

that come without an expiration date,

When the travel bug bites,

You’re free to take flight,

And, since you’re the boss of what you do,

Retirement plans are all up to you.

8. ‘This Lime-Tree Bower My Prison’ by Samuel Taylor Coleridge

This particular poem was inspired by a true incident in which the poet’s wife unintentionally spilled boiling milk on their foot, resulting in the poet’s confinement throughout Charles Lamb’s visit. What sets this poem apart from others on the list is that it depicts a forced retirement rather than a deliberate retreat from society.

“A delight

Comes sudden on my heart, and I am glad

As I myself were there! Nor in this bower,

This little lime-tree bower, have I not mark’d

Much that has sooth’d me …”

9. The Halls By Mark Halliday

“The Halls” by Mark Halliday is a concise and evocative retirement poem. It captures the essence of transitioning into a new phase of life, exploring the emotions and experiences associated with leaving a career behind. Halliday’s words invite reflection on nostalgia, uncertainty, and anticipation, offering a relatable portrayal of the complexities of retirement.

10. The Farm By David Lee

The Farm By David Lee

“The Farm” by David Lee is a captivating poem that immerses readers in the rural world of farming. Through vivid imagery and skillful language, Lee transports us to the farm, painting a vivid picture of the landscape and the labor that takes place there. The poem celebrates the beauty and simplicity of a way of life closely connected to the land.

11. Someday – Unknown 

A new lifestyle awaits,

Shimmering through the years

of promises and hopes long held

in the whispered word of “someday”

silently wondering if that day would ever come,

now, standing on the threshold,

the doors of change wide open,

All you need do is step inside

to a new world of freedom

and time to live those dreams you shared.

Read More:

10 Good Retirement Saying for You

Poems About Retirement
  1. “People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” – Maya Angelou
  1. “Have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want…everything else is secondary.” – Steve Jobs
  1. “In all of living, have much fun and laughter. Life is to be enjoyed, not just endured.”- Gordon B. Hinckley
  1. “There are far better things ahead than we ever leave behind.”- C.S. Lewis
  1. There really are two lives we live. The first life and then the second life when we realize we only have one life.
  1. Wishing you the best retirement ever! Enjoy the new chapter of your life and enjoy being your own boss.
  1. I’m pretty jealous of you, but needless to say, I’m happy for your retirement
  1. Retire from your job, but never retire your mind.
  1. Age is just a number, but retirement is one of the greatest gifts to mankind.
  1. You have to put off being young until you can retire.

See More:

Final Thoughts

These poems about retirement offer diverse perspectives, capturing the range of emotions and reflections associated with this significant life transition. From celebrating newfound freedom to pondering life’s deeper meanings, these poems leave a lasting impression, inspiring and guiding readers on the journey of retirement.

Luna Miller

I’m Luna Miller, a helpful employee at Loveable. I excel at giving great advice on birthday gifts. I love suggesting memorable experiences like concerts, spas, and getaways. As a reliable and supportive colleague, I’m always there to assist.

If you love this post, share it with your friends!