Study Guide

The Last Words of My English Grandmother Old Age

By William Carlos Williams

Old Age

When a poem is called "The Last Words of My English Grandmother," the chances are pretty high that old age is going to be a major theme. This poem definitely doesn't pull any punches when it comes to this theme. It paints a realistic picture of the physical and mental effects of aging, which the elderly have to deal with. It's a slice of life that, if we're not coping with it in some way already, we will know one day. Good times?

Questions About Old Age

  1. What are some of the harsh realities of old age that the speaker shows in the poem?
  2. Does the speaker show any of the benefits of getting older? If yes, what? If no, what could he have added?
  3. In general, what would you say the speaker's attitude is toward aging? How can you tell?

Chew on This

The speaker is totally disrespectful of his grandma by showing her in such compromising positions. (For shame, dude.)

The speaker paints a clear picture of the realities of aging, which ultimately respects the difficulties that his grandmother and all elderly people face. (Props, Granny.)

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