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Word Count: 815
These two poems present old age in very different ways Fanthorpes poem Old Man Old Man expresses a daughters feelings for her father as he becomes old and is diminished by old age In contrast Jenny Josephs poem Warning looks forward to the freedom of pleasing herself in later years Both poems are modern and conversational written in the first person The title Old Man Old Man sets the tone for Fanthorpes poem The repetition reminds the reader of a nursery rhyme suggesting a second childhood The old man remains nameless hinting at a loss of identity and individuality The poem switches between the present and past tense showing how he was a man who did-it-himself but has now become someone who even small things distress The poem is written from a daughters viewpoint with italics indicating her fathers speech I can see you In her poem Joseph warns her reader what she will do when she is older She too will experience a second childhood but in much more positive way The first two stanzas are written in the present tense explaining how she will learn to spit and press alarm bells In the third stanza she reflects on life in early middle age repeating the imperative verb must to indicate all the things she has to do like pay our rent and set a good example The language and imagery in Old Man Old Man reflect the fathers contracted world Most of the vocabulary concerns domestic issues his struggle with recalcitrant pill bottles washing up and television In the past he was an adjuster of environments and connoisseur of nuts but now he has been self- demoted to washing up He was a man who was always strong and in control However the use of the army term demoted which means to lose rank shows that the old man has lost his status and is now involved in what he would consider to
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