“When You Are Old” is obviously a very romantic poem but it is also about aging

Throughout this poem, the theme of romantics is quite evident, “But one man loved the pilgrim soul in you, And loved the sorrows of your changing face.” The man genuinely loved this person, not only for their beauty, but their emotions and spirit also. In addition to the theme of romantics, the theme of aging is clear throughout, “And loved the sorrows of your changing face.” This suggests that there’s a certain attractiveness to youthfulness, but as they age their face loses this attractiveness and a certain sadness slowly replaces it. The poem, as a whole, has a nostalgic feel to it as if the author is of old age and writing back to a loved like his daughter or son. The poem also suggests that as you continue to grow, the more sadness and sorrow you feel, which of course is subjective.

2 thoughts on ““When You Are Old” is obviously a very romantic poem but it is also about aging”

  1. It’s nice that you brought up the point of people’s increasing age will eventually lead them to a dispirited future. I feel that this poem does bring back a nostalgic feel, but also retain the romantic times that one has with their significant other. I also believe that if one promises to love their significant other forever, they should be able to commit to that promise till the very end. Regardless of age, health, or appearance, if two people were to get involve in a lifetime relationship, their shouldn’t be excuses to have happy moments during the durations of that relationship.

  2. It’s great that you included the obvious theme of love but also related it to the more underlying themes of age and youthfulness. The piece does well with keeping its romantic tone while also tackling deeper issues of human life. It’s nice that you added this dynamic of sadness. The author believes the older you get the greater your sorrow becomes. This idea is completely subjective, and you did well in sharing that.

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