Coming of Age



Poetry and prose from across the ages and around the world describes the journey from adolescence to adulthood. Includes UU contributors. An indispensable tool for bridging ceremonies, bar and bat mitzvahs and coming of age celebrations of all kinds. Suitable for parents, teachers and clergy, and a wonderful keepsake for young adults.

Quick Links

Coming of Age

A Treasury of Poems, Quotations, and Readings on Growing Up


Dear Reader,

A typical life has four great transition events — passages. Birth and death, of course, frame a life span. Both happen at a precise moment. And like them, marriage happens all at once, often in the midst of our culture’s most elaborate ritual. Coming of age, the passage from childhood to adulthood, however, is a long journey, often spanning a decade. And the transition has become even more drawn out in these times. It is mostly a private affair with various cultural markers such as entering high school, acquiring a driver’s license, or turning twenty-one. But there is no defining observance.

Perhaps the lack of coming of age rituals hinder the process of maturity in contemporary American culture. Each adolescent follows a private journey of fits and starts. The selections in this book can provide the insight and resources for fashioning a meaningful coming of age ritual for an adolescent in your family.

The poems, quotations, and readings of this coming of age collection chronicle the physical, behavioral, and emotional changes of adolescences. Many selections reflect the adult perspective and are poignant with memory of and concern for growing up.

The selections in these pages will strike you as real and earthy. Whether you have attained adulthood or are arching toward it, these words and the many meanings they convey will help you better understand the challenges and triumphs of becoming one’s essential self.


Wishing you affirmation and expectation,

Edward Searl



Skinner House Books, December 2006.
240 pp.
ISBN: 1-55896-512-2

Publications by
Ed Searl

Anthologies: Rites of Passage
A Treasury of Poems, Quotations, and Readings to Celebrate Birth
A Treasury of Poems, Quotations, and Readings on Growing Up
A Treasury of Poems, Quotations, and Readings to Celebrate Love and Marriage
A Treasury of Poems, Quotations, and Readings on Death and Remembrance
Anthology: The Animal Kingdom
A Treasury of Poems, Quotations, and Readings to Celebrate the Animal Kingdom
Funerals and Memorial Services
A Guide to Modern Funeral and Memorial Services
Home Altars
A Guide to Creating Sacred Spaces in Your Home
Poetic Reflections
52 Meditations Follow Nature and Self Through the Satisfying Cycle of Four Seasons.