The Lamentation of The Old Pensioner Summary and Important Questions

The Lamentation of The Old Pensioner

– W.B Yeats

Summary of The Lamentation of The Old Pensioner:

The poem “The Lamentation of The Old Pensioner” was composed by an Irish poet and dramatist W.B. Yeats. The speaker of this poem is a retired old man who expresses his feeling of sadness and disappointment of having the beauty and youth robbed by the tyranny of time. This poem also contrasts the old and present age of the poet. The poet has felt that the time is omnipotent and nobody can resist it. Everyone has to go through various stages of life. In fact, old people are not a burden, rather they are the sources of experience, knowledge, and guidance. The speaker implies that we shouldn’t regret as we grow old but celebrate the old age.

The speaker is sitting under a broken tree while taking shelter under a broken tree. He feels that he is like that broken tree. When the tree was young and beautiful, everybody came and sat under it, but now when it is broken, it’s left alone.

In the first stanza, the speaker compares his energetic and eventful youth with his lonely and passive old days. In his youth, he used to spend his time with the company of his friends talking about love and politics but now he is alone and is taking shelter from the rain under a broken tree.

In the second stanza, the speaker compares himself with young boys. The young boys are involved in unusual activities like making weapons for conspiracy and expressing their anger at human tyranny. But the speaker seems to be much wiser and more experienced and has something else to concentrate on. He contemplates from that tyranny of time for changing him into an old man.

In the third stanza, the speaker gets even more agonized to know that not a single woman looks at him now. However, he still cherishes at the memories of being in love with beautiful women in his youth. Finally, he regards time as responsible for bringing all these changes in his life and expresses his feeling of anger wishing to spit into the face of time.

Important Questions and Answers from “The Lamentation of The Old Pensioner”

Question. Explain the title of the poem “The lamentation of the old pensioner”.

Answer. The lamentation of the old pensioner is a revised version of W.B. Yeats poem “The Old Pensioner,” the title seems to be more significant than the earlier one because it suggests what and whom the poem is all about.

Lamentation means an expression of sadness and disappointment, whereas Pensioner, means a person who has got retirement from his active life. In this poem, a retired old man is expressing his feeling of sadness and disappointment for losing the beauty and youth of his life. So the title of the poem is quite appropriate.

Question. Summarise the poem “The Lamentation of the Old Pensioner” in one sentence.

Answer. The poem The Lamentation of the Old Pensioner is all about the feelings of regret, grief, and disappointment expressed by a retired old man who finds his charm, energy and beauty of his youth robbed by the tyranny of time.

Question. Why does the speaker want to speed in the face of time

Answer. The speaker wants to spit into the face of time for transforming him into an ugly, diseased, lonely old man of no use. In youth, he was very active and smart and had many friends who he used to discuss with about politics and love. He has supposed time to be the most powerful tyrant that has transfigured him. The speaker feels very angry as there are not single women who look at him and remember the faces of beauties who used to love him in his youth and expresses his rage by telling that he wants to spit into the face of time for transfiguring him into an old and ugly man of no use.

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