the weekly

Long Life

I wish I was a granny down in Gangnam

My knitting needles gaily cast aside

Giving the slip to God as to the hangman

Making life insurers boggle-eyed


I wish I was a nana in Samcheok

Seeing sixty in with wilful smile

But I’m a man (it’s just my bad damn luck!)

I wish I had their never-ending style


I wish I was a matriarch of Shinchon

With lotus ponds to tend, and sour tea

No sense of time departing, not to flinch from

The wind still blowing from the Yellow Sea


I wish I was an oldie dame in Seoul

With thirty years to juggle as I please

Feeling that summer’s really on a roll

No falling leaves to follow in the trees


When you go, I know you have to go

But all the same, I wish that I was thus:

A well-retired woman from Mokpo

We senior sons! What will become of us?


Click here for a Guardian story


Long Life

By 2030, life expectancy in South Korea will be 90 for women

23 February 2017


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