Today, I was surfing through my normal news updates and came across this article on Yahoo. Studying acturial science in college, I found this some-what interesting. Although the article doesn't give a lot of numbers to back up the statement that "Poets die young -- younger than novelists, playwrights and other writers," it does give some reasons why this may be true. Enjoy!!
The one year difference between 62 and 63 does not convince me I should start writing novels, but it might be worth it for those 6 extra years to switch to non-fiction.
It would be extremely relevant to find out how other professions rank. How do life long soldiers compare to poets?
A couple of perhaps relevant stats:
How old do rock stars, vs other musicians die, compared to the general population?
How old do actors, or other performers die, compared to the gerneral population?
Searching through the Center for Dease Control's web site, I could not find any statistics on Life Expectation based on Occupation. Ironically, occupation plays a major factor in one's life expectancy. So, I'm sure that the data for your questions are some where out there.
Personally I work on retirement plans. The closest mortality tables I have ever seen that are based on occupation, are white-collar workers vs. blue-collar workers. Unfortunately, these were very old tables and probably not as relevant anymore due to changes in the laws and workplace safety.
Here are some links on this stuff for those of you who reside in the States:
[www.cdc.gov] /> [www.mortality.org]
Another link to the same report.
Gosh, what happens if you're a poet in Mozambique?
Before drawing any conclusions about the life expectancy of poets, I would want to know how "poet" was DEFINED for the purpose of this study.
For example, if it was entirely based on self-declaration, then a lot of people who are unemployed and uninsured might have called themselves poets because they had no other "occupation" to declare.
Before drawing any conclusions about the life expectancy of
poets, I would want to know how "poet" was DEFINED for the
purpose of this study.
For example, if it was entirely based on self-declaration, then
a lot of people who are unemployed and uninsured might have
called themselves poets because they had no other "occupation"
You bring up another good point. Many poets do not focus on just poetry. Their works usually span across different forms of literature and into the world of prose. Ergo, is someone who is an author and has dove into the world of poetry a "poet", or are they excluded from the sample population used during this analysis. I would have to agree with your implied assumptions and say that this analysis is flawed and has many potential fallacies.
Regardless, of the multi-talented among us who share stats with say pilots, teachers, computer programmers, I would still rather be a poet than an Alaskan crab fisherman.
What about hobbies? If I'm a poet who sky dives, or mountain climbs, or races motorcycles does this decrease my longevity?
Ernest Hemingway comes to mind. Hemingway was 62 at his death, Shakespeare 52, Jesus Christ 33. I guess if we died young we'd be in some pretty good company.
I recall seeing a study somewhere years ago, which DID indeed state that artistic/musical types had a lower life expectancy, with the exception of Conductors, who were considerably higher.
In TWO FOR THE SEE-SAW, Gittel says she's a "half-time" costume designer. And the other half? "The other half I'm unemployed."
Stanley Kunitz is 98.
Poets die young is this true?
Will that be I, or, you or, you?
A talent for all that which we share
Is what is most important here
To take the time to share a thought
A gift we give no price no cost
For God put the talent into our minds
To see beyond what most hope to
So I feel blessed that I can take a view
into someone that I never knew
To laugh or cry or smile inside
To share a place where poets sometimes
A gift for even the deaf and blind.
A gift we share you and I.
CATIE did u and trav break yet????????-big ape