A New Year Poem by Khushwant Singh

Khushwant Singh died at the young age of 95 years. He was a prolific Indian writer, famed journalist, well known author and acknowledged tippler!! A man who lived his life to the fullest.

Update: When I discovered this poem, it said it had been written by him at the age of 92, but I received the below message regarding it from Patrick Schiermeyer:
This site claims Khushwant Singh wrote poem: “The horse and mule….” at age 92. He died in 2014 so the poem was supposedly written in 2010-2011 timeframe. This cannot be true. I have a copy of this poem I received in 1978 while working in Saudi Arabia. He may have written it earlier or it may be incorrectly attributed to him.

I did some further research, and this is the comment I sent back to Patrick:
Patrick, I spent about a half hour trying to run this poem down after reading your comment. I can’t find it associated with anyone else’s name but his so I’m wondering if he sent it as a New Year’s greeting and people took it that he had written it. I saw one other person post it without attribution and the most posts saying he had written it. I agree now that you have pointed it out that he could not have written it at least at the time he is said to have written it. If you know when he did write it, or who else did, I’d appreciate the correction. Thanks.

So, if anyone has further information about the author of the below piece and when it was written, I would appreciate knowing the full story of its origin.

A poem by Khushwant Singh
written when he was 92!
The horse and the mule live for 30 years,
And know nothing of wines and beers;
The goat and sheep at 20 die,
And never get a taste of Scotch and rye.
The cow drinks water by the tonne
And at 18 is mostly done
Without the aid of gin and rum.
The cat in milk and water soaks,
And then in 12 short years it croaks.
The modest, sober, bone-dry hen
Lays eggs for others, then dies at 10.
All animals are strictly dry,
They sinless live and swiftly die.
But sinful, ginful, rum-soaked men
Survive for three score years and ten,
And some of them, though very few,
Stay pickled till they’re 92!
 
This entry was posted in Poetry by Others, Uncategorized and tagged on by .

About lifelessons

My blog, which started out to be about overcoming grief, quickly grew into a blog about celebrating life. I post daily: poems, photographs, essays or stories. I've lived in countries all around the globe but have finally come to rest in Mexico, where I've lived since 2001. My books may be found on Amazon in Kindle and print format, my art in local Ajijic galleries. Hope to see you at my blog.

11 thoughts on “A New Year Poem by Khushwant Singh

    1. lifelessons Post author

      Ha! I knew that would rouse a few. I’ll raise an anejo rum with Caffeine free Coca Cola Lite to your chardonnay! Sounds like a bit of a wimpy drink, doesn’t it? Perhaps I should just confess to a generic rum and Coke????

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
  1. lifelessons Post author

    P.S. I love it when I rouse a viewer to poetry! It’s a bit like a Busby Berkeley movie with characters bursting out into a conversation of rhyme and song in answer to each other!!! Or were his just the musical production numbers? Perhaps it is more like opera. Others of your ilk are Leland and Anton and I believe Susan and others may have gotten the bug as well.It would be fun to have an invitational challenge starting with two rhymed lines and having each person add two in sequence. Perhaps I’ll organize this one day, right after the garage cabinets!!!

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  2. Leland Olson Hoel

    “A New Year Poem by Khuswant Singh”
    Describes my family, tells it all, everything.
    Most were not picky but a shot included a beer
    Ale was a girly drink, men sipped 190 proof EVERCLEAR.
    Better to be greedy than offer Uncle Ed first drink.
    Your newly opened pint will be gone in a wink.
    Big Ed makes a awful, distasteful, disgusting face.
    Then drains the last of your pint like it was a race.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. lifelessons Post author

      Remember grain alcohol? I think perhaps it was the same as Everclear. I used it to make liqueurs at Xmas time. I once poured a bottle into a very hot brew of simple syrup and coffee (making Kahlua) and the fumes knocked me to the floor!

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    1. lifelessons Post author

      We used to be able to buy it in Wyoming as well. That’s where I started to make the liqueurs. I made them in CA also, but perhaps had to just use vodka. Can’t remember. They were diluted considerably by water, sugar and flavorings so the final result was a much lower alcohol rate.

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      1. Leland Olson Hoel

        Years ago in this country a lot of drinking was done right out of the bottle, another uncle of mine took a drink of Everclear out of the bottle once, I thought he would die right on the spot, this fumes make your throat slam shut. He was choking and gagging, didn’t try it again.

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  3. PATRICK SCHIERMEYER

    This site claims Khushwant Singh wrote poem: “The horse and mule….” at age 92. He died in 2014 so the poem was supposedly written in 2010-2011 timeframe. This cannot be true. I have a copy of this poem I received in 1978 while working in Saudi Arabia. He may have written it earlier or it may be incorrectly attributed to him.

    Like

    Reply
    1. lifelessons Post author

      Patrick, I spent about a half hour trying to run this poem down after reading your comment. I can’t find it associated with anyone else’s name but his so I’m wondering if he sent it as a New Year’s greeting and people took it that he had written it. I saw one other person post it without attribution and the most posts saying he had written it. I agree now that you have pointed it out that he could not have written it. If you know who did, I’d appreciate the correction. Thanks.

      Like

      Reply

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