The reason to retire is to try to avoid embarrassment; you ought to do it before people are dropping big hints. You want to be the first to come up with the idea. You don't want to wait until you trip and fall off the stage.
Sometimes you have to look reality in the eye, and deny it.
I love rhymes; I love to write a poem about New York and rhyme 'oysters' with 'The Cloisters.' And 'The lady from Knoxville who bought her brassieres by the boxful.' I just feel a sort of small triumph.
When you're in your 20s, your 30s, even, you have - at least, I had - vast ambitions, and you sit around mooning about these things, and you're depressed, because you haven't done them. And it takes you a long time to come to the realization that if you can't be John Updike, well, then, you can't.