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Poets' themes on aging and identity through imagery

Poems are in attached document

Read Donald Justice's "Men at 40 " (attached), Maurya Simon's "Women at 30" , Judith Ortiz Coffer's "The Other",, and William Butler Yeats, "Sailing to Byzantium".

Using all that you have learned thus far:

1. Discuss how Justice, Simon, Cofer, and Yeats advance their themes on aging and identity through imagery.


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Please allow some of my ideas to spark your interest. After you write your own paper, please send your draft as a new posting for my editing and feedback. Thank you again!

First of all, you might suggest that many poets use conventional images of household items to advance this particular theme. To illustrate, please note that Donald Justice's "Men at Forty" cleverly uses imagery type to portray his obvious theme of aging. For example, he shows how one's hearing deteriorates as one ages with the image of how someone learns "to close softly The doors to rooms they will not be Coming back to." The "doors" in this poem are used as symbols as we exit this world through life, aging, and eventually death.

Besides the "door imagery," you might also note that he also seems to use the stairs imagery to show a gradual assent toward aging or maturity when he says, "At rest on a stair landing, They feel it moving." Thus, you might remark that his use of these common, cultural motifs works quite well within his piece to exemplify this theme.

Another image that you might use is how Justice approaches death or aging as a sea captain with imagery of boats. Please note how he suggests, "Beneath them now like the deck of a ship, Though the swell is gentle." He shows that death is embedded within life, much like a wave to the sea; we must approach it as if riding not drowning within the current.

Besides the deep imagery and metaphors associated with aging, he also uses a playful tone to show the physical effects of aging as he describes how "deep in mirrors They rediscover The face of the boy as he practices tying/ His father's tie there in ...

Solution Summary

Poets' themes on aging and identity through imagery are dissected. Quotes reinforce imagery and theme.