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A comparison between to Modern poems, "Warning" by Jenny Joseph, and "Old Man, Old Man" by U. A. Fanthorpe.

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Introduction

Craig Anderson 5th March 2003 A comparison between to Modern poems, "Warning" by Jenny Joseph, and "Old Man, Old Man" by U. A. Fanthorpe. The two poems that will be compared both concern the topic of old age, but each has it's own interpretation on the subject. The first, "Warning" by Jenny Joseph, is about a woman who wishes to live her life recklessly, instead of aging stereotypically. The second poem, "Old Man, Old Man" by U.A. Fanthorpe, expresses the effects of how old age can dramatically change a person's perspective of their own life. Both poems concern the topic of old age, but after just a single reading of each it is clear that the tone differs tremendously. This is possibly where the most obvious observation can be made when considering the poems. "Warning" has a distinctive spirited feeling about it, where as "Old Man, Old Man" is able to convey the feelings of sorrow and remorse felt by the person concerned, with ease. This is an important aspect of any poem, and is a useful tool to assist a poem in its direction. ...read more.

Middle

In the title Old Man, Old Man, the repetition of old man emphasises the man's age, and the title's repetition within the poem allows us to see that this aspect is quite important. Repetition is used throughout the poem, trying to show us that things such as his missing hammer and that he is unable to find his way to Drury Lane are important to the man in question. They also tell us that he is no longer as independent as he used to be. "I can see you, you said to me, but only as a cloud." This comment within the poem explains to the narrator (who is possibly one of the man's children) that the old man acknowledges that they are there, but becomes unaware of them. If we carry on through the final stanzas, we can see that the narrator wishes to assist the old man, but only as a cloud. This means that the old man can receive aid without losing his independence. The previous idea placed before the last quote can be supported as can this idea of having lost independence, without adding ridicule: "Let me find your hammer, let me walk with you to Drury lane. ...read more.

Conclusion

"Old Man, Old Man" could be seen as the stereotypical form of old age mentioned in "Warning", and shows us that the woman doesn't wish to be anything like the man, even though she probably knows that's what she will be. This realization of old age is one thing that each of the poems has in common, although it is an experience in one, and an anticipation in another. Perhaps the poems are related to their writers, and consist of memories or feelings that they've had towards a relation (in the case of "Old Man, Old Man") or even themselves ("Warning"). Each of the poems express similar use of different tenses, as do they use repetition to effect key sections, which adds depth. The titles of each of the poems also accomplish this, and are important because they set the tone for the poems. Although the content and tone of each of the poems is drastically different, it can be seen that they are really quite similar in the way they explain their opinions and views of old age, and their concerns when considering the topic. Each leads to a convincing perception of old age and a valid interpretation of their lives from that point onwards. ...read more.

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