The poet examines the transitional stages in man’s life. He tries to point out what man feels or knows at the time of his growth till he gets old. Also the poet points out that the fear of growing older is just like an excited state of agitation in life of man. That at every time man thinks of getting older, the fear shows in his face. He points out that there is a period in a man’s life, when he would be full of hopes, aspirations, and excitement for success. At another stage, the excitement will be mixed with anxiety. A particular time will come when man will resign to fate, when there would be nothing to show for all his youthful efforts. All expectations from life would have become nothing. But because it is believe that man is expected to live for seventy years on earth, he may still be hopeful that things may get better but the major challenge would now be physical strength, inner agility and time. This is the time when inner satisfaction loses substance and man awaits the call to glory.
The following poetic devices are used by the poet in the poem ‘PANIC OF GROWING OLDER’.
Metaphor; the whole poem is an extended metaphor about the transitional stages in man’s life.
Personification; the poet personifies ‘fear’ which he describes as ‘spread fluttering words’.
Symbolism; ‘blades of expectation’ – line 31.
This symbolizes the young stage of man when he is full of expectation. The poet says, this will no longer exist. It would have disappeared sharply.
- Transitional stages of man.
- Hope against hope.
- The vanity in life of man.
- Identify and discuss fully two themes in the poem.
- Comment on the poet’s use of language in the poem