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Old People's Home Analysis



Author: Poetry of W.H. Auden Type: Poetry Views: 266

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1970All are limitory, but each has her own

nuance of damage.The elite can dress and decent themselves,are ambulant with a single stick, adroit

to read a book all through, or play the slow movements ofeasy sonatas. (Yet, perhaps their very

carnal freedom is their spirit's bane: intelligentof what has happened and why, they are obnoxious

to a glum beyond tears.)Then come those on wheels, the averagemajority, who endure T.V. and, led by

lenient therapists, do community-singing, thenthe loners, muttering in Limbo, and last

the terminally incompetent, as improvident,unspeakable, impeccable as the plants

they parody. (Plants may sweat profusely but neversully themselves.)One tie, though, unites them: all

appeared when the world, though much was awry there, was morespacious, more comely to look at, it's Old Ones

with an audience and secular station.Then a child,in dismay with Mamma, could refuge with Gran

to be revalued and told a story.As of now,we all know what to expect, but their generation

is the first to fade like this, not at home but assignedto a numbered frequent ward, stowed out of conscience

as unpopular luggage.As I ride the subwayto spend half-an-hour with one, I revisage

who she was in the pomp and sumpture of her hey-day,when week-end visits were a presumptive joy,

not a good work.Am I cold to wish for a speedypainless dormition, pray, as I know she prays,

that God or Nature will abrupt her earthly function?






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