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"An old mans winter night" by Robert Frost and "Follower" by Seamus Heaney

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Poetry Coursework From reading the 2 poems "An old mans winter night" by Robert Frost and "Follower" by Seamus Heaney we can se that both of the poets have there own different ideas and opinions on old age. Follower - This poem has a very direct title which intices the audience to find out more and is very similar to that of a Hollywood movie and uses plain language. From the 1st line we can see the boy's possessiveness of his father from the words "My" we also know it is referring to the past from the tense of the word "worked" we also find out that he works on a farm. In the next 3 lines we can see the poets admiration for his father by the way he talks about the size of the man "globed like a full sail strung" and his strength. We see that his father was a real expert at his job by the way he can control horses with his tongue, heaneys intention was to show us the mans expertise and how he was in full control, it also shows us how hard the horses were working for him. In the next stanza on the 1st line Heaney calls his father "an expert" then pauses for affect to let it sink in, this is to show us the mans power and also the pure admiration from his son. ...read more.


I believe that Heaney cannot cope with his strong dad who he looked up to and admired becoming old and frail. We are shown a different view on old age in "An old mans winter night" by Robert Frost. The title straight away gives us a sense of cold imagery, and makes us think of loneliness. We are also led to believe that he may be viewed as representing all old men, we could also say that the man may be experiencing the winter of his life. The poem is about an old man who is alone in his house and appears isolated from any contact and appears to have no purpose or task to fulfil and it appears that he is to bear the weight of all human loneliness. The man seems to "clomp" around his house entering rooms for no apparent reason. We find out that the man appears to be losing his mind and going senile. With his memory failing him, eroding his sense of purpose, the old man strengthens his ego by stubbornly keeping his thoughts to himself, and he protects himself by scaring away what frightens him rather than by inviting in what comforts him and nowhere in this poem of terrible aloneness are we admitted to the man's feelings of loneliness but we are only told about him feeling "at a loss". ...read more.


This poem uses iambic pentameter for its rhythm which has a strong and steady quality to it which reflects the narrative way in which the poet tells us about the old man. The strength of the rhythm may be reflecting the inevitability of life; that old age will come and we will all lose it some day. This poem uses half rhymes which may be reflecting on the mentality of the old man and his quality of life. After reading both poems we are given 2 different views on old age by 2 different poets. In Robert Frosts a lot of pity is felt for the old age and the poet seems to be very concerned about the quality of life being lived by the old man, he sympathises with the loneliness and feels sorry for the old man. Heaney seems to have a quite a different view on old age and we almost feel as if he is annoyed at his father for not being able to care for himself now, he is frustrated that the man whom he always looked up to has now become frail and now follows him around opposed to when he was a child. Out of the 2 poems I prefer Robert Frosts "An Old Mans Winter Night" as I believe that it has much more meaning to it and it really gets into the life of the old man and gets sympathy from the reader and gets them involved. ?? ?? ?? ?? Michael Mc Cartney 12m Poetry Coursework ...read more.

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