The Attitudes of the Poets in Warning and Old man
Both poems represent a picture of old age. Jenny Joseph's view of what
she imagines life will be like, and her expectations, where-as U A
Fanthorpe's observation of old age, is of her father, and is written
from her own experience.
Jenny Joseph sees old age as a positive experience. She seems to
believe she will be free from responsibility.
"I shall go out in my slippers in the rain."
She suggests these are the things she would enjoy to do now, but if
she were to actually do these now, people would disapprove of her
actions. She assumes that when she gets old, others will accept
Jenny Joseph does not see herself unable to do anything that she can
do at the moment. Her picture of old age is one of being active.
"Sit down on the pavement when I'm tired."
She sees this as being a childish act, as she would not consider
sitting on the pavement now. She does not think about the restrictions
that old age bring.
In "Old man, old man" Fanthorpe presents a picture of her fathers old
age. He is unable to do many things he once could do.
"Now his hands shamble among clues"
Fanthorpe's father could once do these things for himself but now he
needs the help off the other people. Fanthorpe raises issues that are
negative towards old age, and how old people are like children, the
way they become dependant on others.
Most of the behaviour described in both poems is childish. Jenny
Joseph seems to see age as a second childhood.
"Pick the flowers in other peoples gardens"
She sees this an act that children can get away with, she also sees
this as a step into a new freedom, where as Fanthorpe sees old age as
a limitation. Jenny Joseph thinks these are the things children would
enjoy to do.
The behaviour she sees as attractive is either behaviour, which adults
think and older person may enjoy doing for attention.
She describes things she could have possibly seen old people do. She
also believes that these actions could have been purposely chosen to
do. She try's to dismiss the negative issues of old age. She seems to
feel being a...