• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Discuss the attitudes towards old age as expressed in a selection of poems.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Discuss the attitudes towards old age as expressed in a selection of poems studied in class. Old age brings with its advent, its own implications just like any other phase of human life and the wisest thing we can do when age "creeps up" on us is to explore its possibilities and profit by it. R.S. Thomas, "the hewer of stony verse", wrote "Good", a wonderful poem, in which not a single image or phrase seems out of place, and the simplicity of its themes and directness of language show the characteristic care with which Thomas selected and arranged his words. The poem itself is quiet and restrained and achieves a slow grandeur denied to most evocations of death, old age and the passing of time. The scene is set immediately as "the old man comes out on the hill", hinting undoubtedly at a long, possibly tiring lifetime's journey. The opening image makes a dramatic and lasting impression on the reader and establishes a sense of purity and perfection as the old man attempts to recapture his "earlier days" spent in the valley below. ...read more.

Middle

his young wife fetches him cakes and tea and a dark smile." The last three lines have a rhythmic intensity and culminate in a simple yet solemn statement that "...It is well." "On Platform 5" by Edward Storey, there is a sense of a life wasted. Based on honest observations of the poet, the pity the reader is invited to feel for so much wasted life is not dwelt on but linger as an angry question in the silences that pass between and elderly relative and his/her family saying goodbye to each other at a railway station. In the poem, Storey's tone of voice is severe as he condemns the lack of care in our society for the old. In focussing on a leave taking between relatives at a railway station, he emphasises the distance, unspoken between the family group and turns our attention to the anxiety and fear of extreme loneliness in old age leaving only a; "...terrifying journey back to yourself". ...read more.

Conclusion

Finally, two lovers who had courted her; "Come back again, one brown with blazing eyes, the other with seaweed in his hair". We are told "she had not been kind" to either. The last three stanzas describe her death and although there is some comfort in her imagining that her "visitors" are with her as "they held her", at the moment of death, the reality is that she died completely alone in an indifferent world, the sad silence of her unfulfilled life clearly emphasised in the conclusion of the poem. "Only the cat picked out with the mincing feet His delicate way among the caret flowers; And all the rippled quiet lay smooth once more." As people advance in years, they become more introspective, if not always by choice. Children may marry and move away. There will be losses to death, grief and loneliness and contact with family members or grand children can be fulfilling reminders of the continuity of life and one's place in the grand scheme of things and it is these ideas and attitudes that are expressed in the poems discussed. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE War Poetry section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE War Poetry essays

  1. 'Compare a selection of WW1 poetry to show how different aspects of the war ...

    The's' has been used and also 'dreams happy as her day' the'd' has been used. Also the repition of 'her' has also been used. At the end of the poem Rupert Brooke finishes off showing off England in all its glory this shows a more peaceful tone and creates an

  2. Show how, in his poems of 1933, Dylan Thomas uses language and poetic form ...

    The poem consists of five stanzas. Each of the stanzas are made up of five lines (except the last, which has two lines). The 3rd line of each stanza is shorter than the two before and after it. I think DT has purposely done this to make you stop whilst reading the poem and pay attention to what has just been said.

  1. As Shakespeare and Tennyson are individuals, it is understandable that their views on old ...

    He sees himself in the "twilight" of his years and is starting to accept this. "Sunset fadeth in the west" As the sun goes down in the west all there is ahead is darkness. This emphasises the fact that Shakespeare has come to a certain stage of his life where

  2. Compare and Contrast Beautiful Old Age by D.H. Lawrence with Geriatric Ward by Phoebe ...

    This instantly brings across a very significant question that immensely encourages the reader to try and figure out the answer. However, Hesketh doesn't answer the question simply; she makes the reader want to find the answer in the poem themselves (by making the reader feel strong emotional feelings).

  1. Compare The Poets Attitudes Towards Death In Sonnet 73 And Crossing The Bar.

    We have first a year, and the final season of it; then only a day, and the stretch of it; then just a fire, built for part of the day, and the final minutes of it. The imagery begins and continues as visual - yellow, sunset, glowing - and one

  2. From your reading of a selection of poetry by poets pre 1900- post 1900, ...

    Death is only the beginning according to Donne. The poem begins by enhancing the title: 'Death be not proud' Donne uses this repetition to show how important the title is. He treats death as a person and shows he is not afraid of it.

  1. Dickinson's BECAUSE I COULD NOT STOP FOR DEATH

    Hence we find the unique and defining trait of its textuality: the text is singular and different from any other, and its difference is steeped in history. It can be exemplary, and thus an ethical and aesthetic object, only inasmuch as it contains an idiosyncratic linguistic structure that transcends its original difference, or rather, retains it while history moves on.

  2. Write a detailed comparison between ‘The Old Familiar Faces’ and Tears, Idle Tears’.

    We know he is reflecting on what he has lost because he repeats the line, 'the days that are no more'. Tennyson then reveals that what he feels should be happy images to him are sad because he cannot see good in anything.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work