Comparison of the Poet with My Grandmother’s Traits

 “On Aging” is a poem written by Maya Angelou where she depicts her feelings towards aging. This poem is one of the best poems I have ever read. The poet has successfully expressed her desire and feelings related to her aging. I compared the desires and feelings of the poet with my grandmother’s as she, too, is in her old age. The poet’s feeling and my grandmother’s feelings are somewhat alike and somewhat different.

The poet says that when she is sitting quietly, she is not alone. She doesn’t want any company while thinking about her past or listening to her thoughts. However, my grandmother never liked staying alone. She always enjoyed being around with someone. Sometimes, I have seen her remaining silent and lost in her own world. Nonetheless, my grandmother also disliked sympathy shown to her as she was proud of herself though she was old.

In addition, the poet wants to live independently and does not regret aging. Though her body aches and her bones are rigid, she wants to live with all of it and does not prefer an alternative. My grandmother is the same; she too puts forth more effort to do her daily activities but never skips them. She has a problem on her back; therefore, she can’t go here and there. However, she prefers walking slowly and does her activity rather than staying idle. She expects me and other members not to feel uneasy looking at her slow work.

Furthermore, the poet expresses that when she walks and stumbles, the viewer must not think that she is reluctantly walking. Due to aging, she gets tired quickly and it’s difficult to walk like the others do. My grandmother is also the same; she walks very slowly as she has swollen legs all year. She never skips her morning walk as she wants to maintain her daily routine and keep herself as healthy as possible. She still has confidence and respect for herself. She is as happy as before when I was a little child.

I have learnt that one’s age doesn’t have any effect on one’s inner respect and thoughts.

 Why don’t you share something about the oldest member of your family?

2 Responses to Comparison of the Poet with My Grandmother’s Traits

  1. tdenkar says:

    Hey Rasani,
    I also felt that my grandma and the grandma in the poem have some similarities as well as differences. In the poem “On Aging” the grandma doesn’t like to be pitied; my grandma is also same like her. She does something with her best. She never blames us for making her do something. Even if we asked her to take rest, she said she wants to do whatever she can as long as she is alive. However, my grandma doesn’t like to be isolated or lonely like the grandma in the poem. She always needs someone by her side giving her companion. And I really enjoy being by her side. She used to tell stories of her olden times which are very sad as well as fantastic too. Your grandma used to walk slowly, but my grandma walks very fast. Whenever I walk with her, I feel so uneasy thinking that she would scold me. She often used to imply whether I was walking backward instead of walking forward. Therefore, I never used to go with my grandma except while going for evening walks with my family.
    Also, in the poem it is portrayed that the grandma had no regret for her old age. However, from my point, I think most aged people suffer from depression of old age. The factors for depression can be due to chronic illness, death of their peers and friends. I feel that many older people hide their worries and struggle when they feel very low and unable to do what they wish to. What is your opinion about old age? If you are in her position in the poem, are you going to be happy just like her?

  2. auwpriyanka says:

    Dear Rasani, I liked your observation very much. You have made a good comparison between your grandmother and the poet. As like yours, I too have some common experiences about my grandmother. Although, she has passed away, there are some moments which are still vivid in my memories.
    Yes, I agree with you that as poet has described about old persons might not be true for all because it was contrasting in my grandmother’s case too. My grandmother also used to work in gardens and farms all day. She used to do her work by herself in spite of her old age. She liked to talk a lot. Whenever she was alone at home, she used to go to our neighborhood and gossip with other women in the locality. When I read your blog entry, it reminded me of my grandmother and caused me to share some of my experiences.
    Besides, I also wanted to agree with the author that old age does not necessarily mean abandoning one’s happiness and joy. Even in the old age, people can equally enjoy their lives with great passion and enthusiasm. Old age is inevitable in our lives and everyone should face it one day. Therefore, young generation should not be skeptical regarding old age.

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