There are many ways of viewing the ever-nearing presence of old age, but we all seem to have different attitudes towards it. There is the one opinion that many of us have and it’s the typical stereotyped view that we will slowly, deteriorate physically and mentally, where we will lose the independence, wit and charming looks we once had and will sit in a rocking chair reminiscing with an old photo album whilst awaiting the arrival of death. However there is also a less pessimistic view and that’s what Jenny Joseph tries to demonstrate in “warning” and quite the opposite is UA Fanthorpe with “Old man, old man”. In the following Composition I will be comparing how Fanthorpe and Joseph analyse old age in their poems.

U A Fanthorpe who is quite mysterious when she writes old man and keen on putting hidden messages that one must uncover if one wants to truly understand the poem. In this particular poem it shows the life of an old man to whom everything has become quite misty and one gets the feeling he is nearing the end and basically all he does is sit and look back on the days when he was a DIY man. Fanthorpe like to use things like “things in bottle with tacky labels” to represent how much of a clutter and confusion he has become. By portraying him in this manner she displays the complete opposite as to what Jenny Joseph tells us in Warning.

Warning demonstrates that one can grow old and yet by having a positive attitude one stays young at heart. This poem is a much more humorous and funny side to growing old compared to old man. Fanthorpe chooses to tell the poem through a younger persons eye in third person and Jenny tells hers in first person talking of the future and what she expects from her coming of age.

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The way the two poems are set out does actually indicate to the reader a lot about the poem. Fanthorpe chooses to display hers with eleven stanzas but only three lines in each one she chooses to put it this spread out its about an old man who can only take small things in at a time and is very slow. Jenny Joseph chooses to display hers in a jumbled and mixed up looking manner so as to show that that’s how she wishes to grow old and that when she is old she will be as loopy and muddled up as the way her poem is set out.


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