Analysis of Beautiful Old Age By D.H. Lawrence. This essay is on the subject matter, form, stlye and theme of the poem.

Topics: Poetry, Gerontology, Ageing Pages: 5 (1308 words) Published: February 1, 2004
1.Subject Matter (Content)

"Beautiful Old Age" by D.H. Lawrence is a poem that describes old age. The author depicts old age as something that is "lovely", wonderful, calm and undisturbed.

We would feel as though we have completed most of our lives. We would have already fulfilled our duties as a man. We would have experienced the ups and downs of life and look forward to more settled days.

We would be happy in our old age if we had lived our lives with outmost honesty. A life "lived undaunted and unsoured with accepted lies." This would make us feel at peace with ourselves when we live through our old age.

Old people should be more relaxing and comforting. They have already grown tired of love. The peak of their lives is over. The spring and summer of their lives have passed and what is left for them is the peaceful autumn before the arrival of the harsh winter (death).

When we grow old, we become "richer". Not richer in material possessions but richer in experience. We would have lived through the trials and tribulations of life. We might have faced hardships along the way, but they help us to live a truly complete life. Our children would look at us in awe and respect.

2.Form(Type, Structure and Pattern)

This poem is a free verse poem. It is not under any category. The poem has a total of five stanzas but there is no definite number of sentences in each stanza. None of the sentences rhymes and thus cannot be read in a "song-song" manner. Instead the slow and steady pace, brings out the calm and quiet feelings of the old people.

In the first stanza, the sentences do not "run-on" but are "separate" in terms of meaning. However, from the second stanza onwards, the sentences "run-on" and cannot be separated. This would draw readers to continue reading the poem as they are eager to find out what the poet is really trying to express.

The first stanza describes the poets views on being old while the second stanza is about living an upright life with no regrets.The third stanza showed how old people feel.

In the last two stanzas of the poem, the poet uses a speech format to express how the children regard their aged parents. This enabled the poet to express what he wants to say clearer as he would be speaking from the children's point of view.

3.Style (Use of Language)

The poet expressed old age in a way that is fulfilled and contented. He isn't sad but neither is he very happy. He wrote the poem in a tone that expresses satisfaction, peacefulness rather than happiness. He used the phrases "fulfilment" and "completeness" to show that old people should feel contented.

He wrote the poem in a serious way rather than for amusement. He wanted to convey how old people felt about themselves.

The words the author used are not too complex and should be understandable to most people. The author managed to use simple words like "satisfaction", "completeness" to put across his complex feelings of slight loneliness and satisfaction of life.

The author expressed the contented feeling of the old aged to the "Fragrant like yellowing leaves, and dim with the soft stillness and satisfaction of autumn." Through the vivid descriptions, we are able to picture out autumn and feel the relax and comforting feelings the old people feel.

The poet used a few similes in this poem. He used the similes "ripen like apples", "scented like pippins" to compare how a person who accepted lies lived and felt when he was young and during his old age respectively. He also compared how soothing old people should be to apples.

The poet did use a few alliteration terms in this poem. The phrase "undaunted and unsoured" enhanced the effect of what the poet was trying to say about being an honest and upright person throughout our lives. Whereas, "stillness ad satisfaction" helps us to picture the peaceful and relax conditions old people live in.

The poet also used the adjectives "ripe" and "wrinkled" more than once in...
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