What is the meaning of the poem "We Old Dudes"? How does it relate to the author? What is the style of the poem, and how does the style relate to what the poet wants to portray?  

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The poem "We Old Dudes" by Joan Murray is a humorous look at old American men who have retired and moved to Florida. If readers take the broader meaning of the word "dude" to mean "person" instead of "male person," the meaning could be stretched to include old people in...

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The poem "We Old Dudes" by Joan Murray is a humorous look at old American men who have retired and moved to Florida. If readers take the broader meaning of the word "dude" to mean "person" instead of "male person," the meaning could be stretched to include old people in general, including old women. It first appeared in Poetry magazine in July 2006. On the cover of the magazine, the word Poetry is deliberately misspelled Peotry and it is subtitled "the humor issue."

The author, Joan Murray, is a renowned, award-winning poet. We might say that the poem relates to her because when she wrote it she was over 60 years old, so she might have marginally fallen into the category of "old dude," but mainly it seems to be a tongue-in-cheek observation of people much older than she was when she wrote it.

The style of the poem assumes a chant-like quality that fans of a sports team, members of a political party, or some other types of united groups with similar interests might use. The constant repetitions call out various standards with which the "old dudes" identify. Most of these affectations are clichés associated with retired white men.

For instance, retired white men in Florida often wear white shoes. They are known for playing golf to pass the time; for this reason, there are usually numerous golf courses near cities and towns with large retirement communities. There are also many shopping malls full of restaurants where retired people go to eat. Palm Beach is the name of a town and a county that lies within the Miami metropolitan area in Florida. The county has many retirement communities.

In the poem, "we soak teeth" refers to the practice of taking out dentures, or false teeth, at bedtime and leaving them to soak overnight. This is obviously something done mainly by old people. "We vote red" is a reference to the fact that many old people are conservative and usually vote for candidates that belong to the Republican Party, whose official color is red. "We soon dead" speaks for itself, but the way that it comes at the end of the poetic chant makes it almost sound like a defiant shout. Old people know that they are near death, but they nevertheless want to be acknowledged as people and not ignored.

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