Kirk Douglas Approaches 98, Publishes Poetry Book About Life

Shortly after People magazine accidentally published the obituary of film legend Kirk Douglas, news has broken that the man is not only alive and well, but publishing a book of poetry to reflect on his life as a movie star with almost 100 film credits to his name.

According to USA Today, Kirk Douglas is releasing Life Could Be Verse today in celebration of his 98th birthday (December 9). Douglas' book will be a compilation of original poetry and stories about the life of Kirk Douglas.

"I've written 10 books," said Kirk Douglas. "But this was the first time I was looking over the things in my life, and I was surprised to know how many poems I've written. So I sort of … put all the poems in a book."

For a man his age, Kirk Douglas is surprisingly sharp-witted and lucid, despite a speech impediment that resulted from a stroke he suffered in 1996. Kirk has spent the last few decades recovering his speech, but also devoting a lot of his time to writing. Now, it seems Douglas is ready to share those private verses with the world. The book reflects on Kirk's entire career in Hollywood, including bits about everything from his first audition to his relationship to his son and fellow actor, Michael Douglas.

According to My Central Jersey, Douglas' poems do cover topics outside the film industry, however. Some of the poems focus on the more serious aspects of life, including love, loss and the things that really matter in the world. One of Douglas' poems titled "For Eric" touches on the death of his youngest son, who died in 2004 at the age of 46. Douglas isn't afraid to address some of the darker issues pertaining to himself either, including the stroke that took his voice away and his thoughts on suicide.

"I lost my voice. I couldn't speak," Kirk Douglas says. "What can an actor do who can't speak? I still struggle with speaking, but at least I can talk. And I'm grateful for that. But that was the darkest moment in my life: An actor who can't talk."

Life Could Be Verse isn't only poems and stories, however. Kirk Douglas has included many family photos from the past and present, along with some of Michael Douglas and his wife Catherine Zeta-Jones.