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Reviewed by Grant Leishman for Readers' Favorite
The Senior Citizen Ship: A True Story in Poetry is a collection of just over one hundred poems by author Wyman Sanders, a senior citizen himself, who wants to share his thoughts and ideas about life as a senior citizen utilizing his hobby, poetry. The collection contains many short and pithy poems about all sorts of situations that we are likely to face as senior citizens and gives advice on how to handle them through his poetry. The topics he focuses on are wide and varied, from how it is to be the adult child of an aging and possibly infirm senior citizen, what to expect from your parent and what your parent is probably expecting from you, right through to asking and trying to answer that age-old question – what happens after; what is next? In between there are poems on the journey, memories, exercise of the body and mind, developing a positive attitude, how to react and interact with caregivers and with other residents of an assisted-living facility, plus a whole lot more besides. The poems truly cover the full gamut of the senior experience.
I tend to steer away from reviewing poetry usually as it is such a subjective topic and so personal usually to the author. Having just become a senior myself, I was drawn to The Senior Citizen Ship: A True Story in Poetry and I was glad I read it. Author Wyman Sanders writes almost prose-like poetry but it does flow with a pleasant cadence that makes it easy to read. The topics he covers are relevant to us all as senior citizens and if one thing shone through from the work it was how critical it is to maintain a positive attitude to life and to keep setting new, achievable goals for yourself in your senior years. As with any collection, certain poems resonated more with me than others. A few of my favorites included Defective Detectives, which reminds us that “juniors” - as the author refers to non-senior citizens- often have assumptions about what senior life is really like, assumptions that are invariably incorrect; Setting Goals, which encourages us all to continue to set goals in our senior years. Life does not stop and neither should we. We are not just “waiting for God”, and Full Circle, which reminds us that we have come full circle in our life’s journey, back to requiring assistance from others to survive and not to be ashamed of that. I particularly enjoyed a quote from the author in the Epilogue where he outlined his motto in his senior years: “...being the most successful being (he) can be right now.” If you are in or approaching your seniority or have a parent doing so, you will undoubtedly get pleasure from these poems.