The earth laughs in flowers.
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson


Stan White, is a retired Brantford Ontario photographer, who has written articles for photography journals all his life and has a special interest in the history of photography. In his 50’s, he began writing poetry, and short stories, and has published this work regularly in literary magazines and anthologies over the last 30 years. He has four books of poetry: Quaere, Three Dimensional Press 2003; About Time, Moments from a Dead World, Craigleigh Press 2003; Four Solitudes, Serengeti Press, 2008; Portals, Craigleigh Press, 2009. He is currently preparing Quern, an anthology of eight Southern Ontario Poets, to be published by Serengeti Press.

When sending me his biography and a selection of poems for this profile, White added this message for you readers:

You know, being a poet is an extraordinary way of exercising the mind.
The experts tell us to find ways of giving our minds new and different interests
in order to slow down the lethargy that is always a potential of the aged.

Writing poetry, or even reading poetry, is a packaged way of doing this.

Writing a poem is essentially problem solving since every poem constantly demands finding solutions to new and different complexities.

Stan White is especially skillful in the use of humour. The following aging poems exemplify his humourous approach to serious issues. ‘Dear God is one of my favourite poems in Celebrating Poets over 70.

Dear God

WhiteStan-Sonnet to Age

WhiteStan-Do I Dare to Eat a Peach

WhiteStan-Sex Dotage Style

White-Worry Wort

White-Mind the Exit

Aging and Humour in the News

Desmond O’Neill: Humour at one hundred

Laugh Your Way to Better Living

Humor & Aging – Association for Applied and Therapeutic Humor

Community Engagement Tip for Older Writers

Writing essays for newsletters and blogs can serve as an effective way to encourage people to read for their lives.  Personal stories about how reading about a fictional character’s experiences helped one understand their own memories, feelings, and quandaries can lead others to read fiction for  information, points of view, words for their own emotions, and possible lessons.  One of the features of reflecting on experience with perspective is humour – the ability to laugh at (or about or over) our own difficult circumstances takes a person outside of the victim stance to which we so often clutch.

Writing Exercise – Memoir plus Creativity

Consider your life between the approximate ages of 7 to 17. Describe a person who influenced you during this period – physical characteristics, setting(s) where you were together, specific anecdotes, how this person communicated and how you communicated back, and lessons learned.

After reading this over, you might create a story about an encounter you might have with this person at your current age.  In keeping with the theme of humour, you can imagine some unusual features to this encounter which elicit smiles or laughter.


Among those I like or admire, I can find no common denominator,
but among those I love, I can: all of them make me laugh.
~ W. H. Auden

I’m an old man and have known a great many troubles,
but most of them never happened.
~ Mark Twain

People who read imagine the lives of others.
Literature makes other people more real to us.
It invites us to notice differences
but, even more so, points toward commonality.
~ Mark Doty

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With this shadow photo, I bid you adieu,