Thomson, Proem

Perhaps the title indicates that this long poem is a combination of poetry and prose. The first stanza asks a series of questions that are more rhetorical than anything else. These questions make it clear that the narrator does not see the point in living out the last of years by pining for the past. He indicates that getting mad that his life is coming to an end and “wailing” about it is useless because others don’t care, they have “careless ears.” In the second stanza, the narrator embraces old age by equating it to truth. Thomson portrays old age as a “bitter old and wrinkled truth” and compares it to the falsity of youth, full of “false dreams, false hopes, false masks.” This is an unusual poem in that unlike many other writers, Thomson does not glamorize youth but rather embraces the positives associated with age.

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