In both ‘great-grandfather’, and ‘on the verge’ the writers present an old person as the key figure to their poems with a variety of similarities and differences.
Firstly, both poems present the key theme and idea of time to relate to their old person poetry. In great grandfather this is presented through the life cycle of the gramophone. The gramophone starts as being ‘green lily is colourful and unfaded’ to ‘greenly lily like and rare.’ The use of the word ‘unfaded’ in the first quote sets up the theme of time as it hints that the gramophone will become faded with time. This is proved as it becomes ‘greenly lily like’, implying that not only has the colour left but it is only ‘like’ what it used to be, signifying that it has in fact changed over time to something ‘like’ the original object. The theme of time as presented through the gramophone is an extended metaphor for a human life cycle, particularly the ‘great grandfather’ presented in this poem implying as he ages he becomes ‘like’ his younger self. The theme of time is also used in ‘On the verge’ to, like ‘great grandfather’, portray older people. The time theme in this poem is a lot more systematic and chronological than Great grand farther with lines such as ‘year after year’, and ‘lifer turns another page’ giving a very negative tone to the passing of time and this tone is reflected upon the portrayal of old people. The use of the metaphor ‘life turns another page’ signifies that the passing of time in life is like a book. This cuts out a very clear beginning and end in regards to life, however the use of the word ‘another’ implies that a lot of life has in fact already passed which presents the idea that older people are at the end of their ‘pages’. This is mirrored in ‘year after year’ with the repetition of year making time sound very casual and fast passing, as well as giving the impression that a year is a smaller unit of time. This again adds to the idea that a lot of time has already passed for older people and presenting the idea that it is now very insignificant.