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Compare how to poets reflect on old age

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Adam Dundon Form 11Y Compare how the two poets, Joseph and Angelou, reflect on old age Both of the poems that I have read give the same sort of message, "don't stereotype older aged people". Both of these women are trying to say that just because you get a bit older doesn't mean that the person inside changes as most people would think. In the poem by Joseph she uses listing to show how many things there are. Whilst in Angelou's poem she just writes it normally with some slang put in there as well, both poems give a different angle on aging but and equal one. In the poem 'When I am Old I will wear purple' by Jenny Joseph, I think she is using the colour purple because it is a colour that stands out, it is not a traditional black or navy blue colour. The colour purple is more of a rebellious colour. She uses purple as a symbol of just letting loose and being rebellious. The message she is trying to put through is that when you are an adult you have to conform and as she says, "We must have friends to dinner." ...read more.


As old people often get stereotyped she says, "When you see me walking, stumbling, don't study and get it wrong, cause tired don't mean lazy" What she is saying is that old people don't need to be pitied because as she says, "I'm the same person I was back then" Just because they might be a little less active and not as fit as they were in their day they shouldn't need sympathy, they can still do what they want and as she says, "Ain't I lucky I can still breathe in?" So they're still here, and until the day they pass away they should be treated normally, just as they used to be! When you start to get old, other people start to patronise you. She says in her poem, "When you see me sitting quietly, like a sack left on the shelf, don't think I need your chattering, I'm listening to myself." So really, elderly people don't want people constantly asking them things, checking up on them as if they are incapable of living their own lives. ...read more.


"I shall wear purple." This shows some kind of determination and clarity about her targets, also there is a use of syndectic listing in there, "and pay our rent and not swear in the street and set a good example to the children." Also in Joseph's poem there is a rhetorical question where she says, "But maybe I ought to practice a little now?" This shows some determination. She ends her poem with an exclamatory sentence, "And start to wear purple!" This is written like she is almost narrating a story. The effects that Angelou is using in her poem is the irregular rhyming pattern and also there are some direct commands, "Hold! Stop! Don't pity me! Hold! Stop your sympathy!" Which I think shows a sort of ambition. Also she has a good use of a simile in there as well. "When you see me sitting quietly like a sack left on the shelf" I think that this is good because it gives a good visual image of a sack to be like a lonely old woman, her body being 'sack-like' as it has gone saggy. This also adds humour to the poem and creates empathy for the poet, as she is able to laugh at herself. ...read more.

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