The Lamentation of the Old Pensioner

The Lamentation of the old pensioner is a nostalgic poem composed by W.B. Yeats. In this poem, the poet basically states his past and present life. The main theme of the poem is related to love and reminiscence. In the poem, the poet makes a comparison between glorious past and miserable present. He finds the vast difference between his past and present conditions. He remarks that his days in the past were full of enchantments (attractions) and happiness. He was liked by all as he was the centre of attraction but at present, he is in a miserable condition because he has become old and passive losing every interest of his life. He feels pity on his present conditions and finding time being responsible for it, he expresses his anger towards it.

The poet, the speaker of the poem, sits under a broken tree in order to save him from cold rain and wind. Here, the broken tree suggests his old age. He compares himself to the broken tree because he doesn’t have any significant role to play in the society as a broken tree cannot give any fruit to the people. Since he realizes that he has been changed into an insignificant creature, he looks back to his past time which was full of happiness and remembers the days when he used to spend time with friends sitting near the fire and talking about love and politics but now, because of his old age, he is alone and he looks at the youngster’s activities who are making their weapons sharp in order to involve at human tyranny. Because of such vast difference between his past and present life, he is compelled to think of the powerful time with an attitude of blaming it for the change, which destroyed his energetic life.

In the last stanza, the poet talks about a beautiful woman who doesn’t look at him but just walks through him, when he needs her help at present because he has undergone transformations. But the days he spent with the beauties and beautiful ladies are still fresh in his memory. He realizes that the reason of woman not turning her face towards him is not because of selfishness but because of the time. Knowing that time is the root cause that transfigured him, his anger reaches to the peak and expresses his desire to spit into the face of time.

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