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

Old Man E.Thomas

Extracts from this document...


Old Man: the way in which Thomas explores the experience of remembering. Robert Frost describes 'Old Man' as 'the flower of the lot', the poem summarises Thomas' thoughts about memory, lost innocence and the sense of isolation from family and friends. In the poem, the speaker watches his daughter 'snipping the tips' of an herb, as he fails to pin down an old memory from his childhood, which has been lost in time. The ponderous opening points out the two paradoxical names for the herb: 'Old Man' or 'Lad's-love'. After the first sentence is a dash, showing that the writer is thinking as he writes. This is also made apparent in the opening stanza, which ends with a short sentence; 'And yet I like the names.' The poem is ponderous and seems to simply present Thomas' thoughts; this is a common feature in his poetry. We see his using his poems as a means through which to present his own thoughts and memories, this is more notably seen in poems such as 'New Year'. ...read more.


In the second stanza, the poet deliberates about the herb itself. He states; 'The herb itself I like not, but for certain I love it.' This suggests that he likes the herb for the memory of his childhood which it brings back, the one that he is searching for. Thomas observes his daughter as she 'waits there, snipping the tips and shrivelling the shreds'. The use of assonance on the 'I' sound, and alliteration of 'snipping' 'shrivelling' and 'shreds' brings back the sense of a ghostly echo, linked with the theme of remembering. He is describing the scene that she will remember; 'with that bitter scent of garden rows...ancient damson trees...' This description reveals to the reader the nostalgia that Thomas feels. We note that there is no regularity in the poem, apart from the slight use of Iambic Pentameter which he uses to keep the poem together. This lack of regularity emphasises the sense of memories lost and the passing of time. ...read more.


The simple, short sentence is dramatic and reinforces the idea that he cannot unlock the door to the past to revive the memory. He repeats the negatives, such as 'no', 'nor' and 'neither': 'No path...no child beside...neither father nor mother, nor any playmate.' This repetition gives a sense of anguish; Thomas seems to be almost beside himself with loss of the memory. The ghostly echo of the words also seems to remind the reader of the theme of remembering and the impact that it has on the writer. The Final line of the poem is somewhat ominous: 'only an avenue, dark, meaningless, without end.' This seems to suggest some kind of void to war, Thomas often ends his poems on a more portentous note, introducing a hint of the war. Andrew Motion once observed that 'His (Thomas') poetry consistently juxtaposes the ideal past with the troublesome present...' We can apply this to old man, especially in the contrast between the idyllic image of the garden and this final verse, as Thomas ends with this almost inimical image of the dark avenue: bringing forth the topic of the war in his ever-subtle way. ...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 Miscellaneous 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 Miscellaneous essays

  1. An Analysis of Old Major's Speech: Animal Farm

    However he does not leave the matter with a message of hardships, rather he mentions the reward of such struggle. He likens the certainty he has of justice i.e. a farm in which "the produce of our labour will be our own", like the certainty of the fact that he can see the straw below him.

  2. Sins of the Past

    Watson," Harrison stated. Watson looked up, "I guess so." Chapter Three The hooded figure sat on the cold snow. The killer looked up at the crashed Air Force One; next to the killer was the RPG the killer had used to shoot down the Boeing 747.

  1. War poetry

    Rosenberg starts with everyday things and shows how significant they are in war, for example larks singing. His structure is often more modern and his poems always return to death. Owens' poems are the most graphic and shocking. He feels compassion for his men and describes individual experiences.

  2. Hemingway's The Old Man and The Sea - complete set of notes, page by ...

    There is something heroic about the way in the old man reacts to the adversity that faces him. Santiago's mood is to be identified with the rise and fall of the sea breeze: 'Freshening as when the sea breeze rises' Hemingway associates the old man with the natural elements.

  1. My Memory

    So they stood there in swimming shorts topless not knowing what to do. So they went back to examine their car. They could see enough money scattered around to get back but they could not get to it. They did not speak a word of Spanish.

  2. Regret in E.Thomas' Poems

    Describes by Robert Frost as 'the flower of the lot', the poem is a ponderous one as Thomas watches his daughter in the garden, remembering the herb forgotten from his youth.

  1. The old shrine

    Upon my awakening, I noticed every single person had left and nobody was there to tell me where I was. I peered through the double-glazed window and saw no runway or other planes. I was not at the airport. I had only one word to describe this; bewildering.

  2. Sixth sense

    At the same time you experience a grief-stricken reaction. Whilst watching the film you don't grasp that he's dead although if you rewatch the film you will notice certain rules and clues. Frank Marshall and Andrew Modshen wanted the film to be true to the audience if they did rewatch it.

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