A spectacular development

After the eye-test

Guess I should have
Seen it coming:

After all
I had no trouble reading,
Out of my window,
The ‘For Sale’ sign
In front of a house
Five doors up
On the other side of the street;
Found poetry easiest
When held
At a metre
And my music-stand wandering
Out of the woodwind
Into the Violin Twos.

My new world’s corrected,
Framed and glazed over,
My light bounced off prisms
And everything made
A subtle illusion.

And finally,
I can see clearly
Just what it means
To be older.


Yup, it’s happened at last – I need glasses for reading. I dodged the bullet at my last eye-test two years ago, but I’m now officially long-sighted and there’s no getting out of it this time. I like to think my new specs will make me look distinguished and erudite: at the very least, it’ll be fun peering sternly at The Girl over the top of them.

15 thoughts on “A spectacular development

  1. You have made my eyes smile out loud with this one Nick!!

    D’you know, I think I actually hide behind my glasses! I feel quite naked without them these days, sort of exposed, and, as daft as it sounds, as though I’m about to fall off the edge of the earth! LOL – Hell! Where did all that come from?!!! Maybe there was something in the oat biscuits I’ve just eaten!

    Anyway a fantastic poem, as always, and I do hope you will make friends with your new equipment! “Erudite” – that’s a good word! I like it!

    Christine x

    • Yep, that’s pretty much what they said to me, too! It merely compounds a distressing experience I had the other day: I was working with a delightful (female) graphic designer who’s newly joined one of my long-standing clients – in conversation it emerged that I’m officially old enough to be her father. I’m just waiting to find myself remarking how young policemen and doctors look these days…

  2. Clever poem, and welcome to those getting younger when their birthday rolls around! I catch a little bit of poetry magic in the lines:

    My new world’s corrected,
    Framed and glazed over,
    My light bounced off prisms
    And everything made
    A subtle illusion.

    saying that glasses may correct sight, but light still bounces off prisms and everything is made a subtle illusion even though you can now see clearly what it means to be older. Ahh…meanings inside of meanings inside of meanings. Is that what older means?

    • Thanks, Thomas: my birthday was last month, and to ease the pain, I announced my age as ’18 with 25 years’ experience.’ Didn’t help much, to be honest…I’m coming to terms with the ‘older’ part, but I think it may be a while before I balance the ‘wiser’ side of the equation! In some ways, I’m fascinated by the idea that from now on I’ll be seeing things not quite as they are: or will it be ACTUALLY as they are, but not quite as my brain perceives them? Deep waters…

  3. I always get the chance to read your new poems first thing in the morning, and they always brighten up the rest of my day. I love this poem!
    ‘Should have seen’ what coming? And the story unravels spectacularly with a twist. I agree about the clever lines in the latter half, where you say your sight becomes framed and yet you go on to say that you finally get a clearer insight.
    # I can’t seem to get the wandering music-stand out of my head. It’s comical!

    • Thank you! The worst part of the whole experience was choosing frames: I had to take my wife (who’s worn specs and contact lenses since childhood) with me, as I didn’t have a clue where to begin. I must have tried on about 20 pairs before I finally found a style that didn’t make me look a) about 60; b) about 12; c) too stern and severe, d) a walking billboard for a major fashion brand or, most importantly, e) exactly like my father! N.

  4. Welcome Nick to the world of reading glasses and getting older.

    It’s not such a bad place really.

    I remember first feeling old when my son referred to Bobby Charlton as “that old guy who used to play for Manchester United”

    May I recommend the poem ‘Warning’ by Jenny Joseph


    • Ah yes, I know the one. I think that wearing purple may be the least of the embarrassments I shall inflict on my poor, unsuspecting daughter. I’m already boring her with comments like: “I used to have this song on LP, you know,” and “When I was your age, the [laptop/internet/mobile phone/CD/iPod etc etc] hadn’t even been invented…” Scary how quickly it comes to us!

  5. Hi Nick, enjoy your new sight! 🙂 Lovely poem!

    I got my first glasses when I was 9, after years of spending in a sort of twilight zone lol. and a whole new world opened up to me 🙂 To see each brick in the wall seperately! Wow!
    Now I have different eyeproblems with a leaking retina, this is the reason I am a bit late in responding as I can’t see clearly. (I manage if I keep my left eye closed lol) I never associated glasses with being old, but this latest problems are also due to getting older so I am told. As long as we can see, never mind the glasses 🙂 Mine have no frame btw 🙂 it was hip a few years ago but I think they are now out of fashion!

    • Thank you, Ina – I’ve had a few days to get used to the idea now, and it doesn’t seem quite as big a deal as it did last week. Maybe that’s an age thing, too: the ability to accept things, rather than kicking against them all the time! (Still got some way to go, though, as my wife and daughter will testify!) N. x

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