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I am going to look at the theme of old age in the poems 'Warning' by Jenny Joseph and 'Lore' by R.S Thomas.

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Introduction

20th century poetry comparative essay I am going to look at the theme of old age in the poems 'Warning' by Jenny Joseph and 'Lore' by R.S Thomas. 'Lore' is a verse in which an old man is convincing us that old age will not drag him down. Within each stanza 'Job' speaks about his life and tries to persuade us that he is not affected by old age. - "It will take more than the rain's hearse, wind-drawn to pull me off the great perch of my laugh." In the first stanza it is though someone else is talking, they introduce "Job Davies, eighty-five" and tell us how he has survived the "slow poison and the treachery of the seasons." This portrays Job in a positive way, as a survivor of the winter months. However, it doesn't comment on his happiness or his state of mind, which is conveyed in the following stanzas in which Job himself speaks. ...read more.

Middle

I think that perhaps R.S Thomas has based this on someone he knew such as a friend or maybe even a father. Another poem, which follows a similar theme but formed with a different style, is "Warning" by Jenny Joseph. This is a monologue about a woman who is describing how she wants to be when she grows old. She incorporates many stereotypical factors of old age mixed with wishes to be eccentric and escape societies expectations. The language throughout the verse is colloquial, non formal and humorous. We continually get a sense that Jenny Joseph wants to escape the expectations of her adult life and all the familiar clich�s such as "set a good example" and "read the papers" Instead, she wants act almost childlike - "I shall pick flowers from other peoples gardens and learn to spit." These sort of rebellious acts are the opposite to the expectations of a typical old aged person. ...read more.

Conclusion

I feel that the man in 'Lore' wants to stay the same, he doesn't want anything to change just because he is old; he speaks about cutting the grass, "Rhythm of the long scythe kept this tall frame lithe" Whereas in 'Warning' you can see that she wants everything to be different as soon as she becomes old - "When suddenly I am old and start to wear purple". The use of Rhyme in 'Lore' makes the verse a lot more poetic in comparison to 'Warning', which incorporates no rhyme. Although the two poems have many differences I feel that both follow the same theme - that old age will not stand in their way. Both poems reflect on past life, however I feel that Warning is mostly about looking to the future and has a more positive outlook. 'Lore' speaks about the present and there is a sense of unhappiness and loneliness. My favourite of the two poems is 'Warning' this is because its very humorous and I find it easier to relate to. Harriet Chavasse 11MN Comparative essay 07/05/2007 ...read more.

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