Great Alone Poem  “Growing Old written by Mathew Arnold – He asks some questions what is grow old then answers it by himself. The Poet describes about the physical situation of the old age in a unique way.

Stanza 1
What is it to grow old?
Is it to lose the glory of the form,
The luster of the eye?
Is it for beauty to fore-go her wealth?
Yes, but not for this alone.

Reference to the context
This Great Alone Poem, “Growing Old“, written by Mathew Arnold. In this poem, the poet Arnold asks / presents a series of questions about what growing old is. He describes a Particular loss that we experience as we grow old.

Explanation
In these lines the poet asks the questions, what is to grow old and then tries to answer this question. He says in the old age human physical and body’s beauty disappears. Our body structure starts drooping. The shining of our eyes becomes fade and they no longer remain brilliant. Will it suit the beauty to give up the flowers. Yes, of course but these are some of the characteristics of the old age.

Paraphrase:  
To grow old means the loss of physical beauty. The shining of the eyes goes away. Will it suit the beauty to give up the flowers. Yes of course. The old age is for glory but not alone for this.

Stanza 2
Is it to feel (experience (an emotion or sensation)) our strength ( state of being strong) –
Not our bloom (produce flowers; be in flower.) only, but our strength – decay ( decomposition)?
Is it to feel each limb
Grow stiffer, every function less exact,
Each nerve more weakly strung?

Reference to the context
This Great Alone Poem, “Growing Old“, written by Mathew Arnold. Here, the poet Arnold asks / presents a series of questions about what growing old is. He describes a Particular loss that we experience as we grow old.

Explanation
In these lines the poet says that in this period of age not only our youth began (start) to decline (politely refuse) but also we start loosing (release) our physical and mental strength. In this age all body parts and limbs become hard and inflexible. Even the function of the human limbs become less accurate. The nerves also become loose and weak. They do no perform properly.

Paraphrase:  
Our youth leaves us in old age but we also loose (set free; release) our physical (tangible or concrete) strength. Each limb of our body becomes rigid and inflexible. They work less correctly. The nerves of our body become fragile and weak.

Stanza 3
Yes, this, and more! but not,
Ah, ’tis not what in youth we dream ‘t (experience dreams during sleep) would be!
‘Tis not to have our life
Mellowed (make or become mellow / relax) and softened as with sunset – glow (give out steady light without flame),
A golden day’s decline!

Reference to the context
This Great Alone Poem, “Growing Old“, written by Mathew Arnold. Here, the poet Arnold asks / presents a series of questions about what growing old is. He describes a Particular loss that we experience as we grow old.

Explanation
In these lines the poet says that these things will happen in the old age and still more to come along with these. But it is not like that we have dream ‘t, in our youth. Our old age is totally different from our youth. We thought that the old age would be as soft and smooth and relax as the glow of the sunset, It is the downfall of our youth.

Paraphrase:  
Not only this but also some more things will happen in old age. The old age is not as we have dreamt it in our youth would be. We thought it a soft and moderate part of our life as the glow of the sunset. It is the downfall of our golden age.

Stanza 4
‘Tis not to see the world
As from a height, with rapt (completely fascinated by what one is seeing or hearing) prophetic eyes,
And heart profoundly ( extremely; greatly) stirred (move or cause to move slightly);
And weep (shed tears), and feel the fullness (the state of being filled to capacity) of the past,
The years that are no more!

Reference to the context
This Great Alone Poem, “Growing Old“, written by Mathew Arnold. Here, the poet Arnold presents / asks a series of questions about what growing old is. He describes a Particular loss that we experience as we grow old.

Explanation
In these lines the poet that it is not the stage to see the whole world from a height with charmed eyes and with a moving heart. Our hearts feel stirred at pounding at the memories of golden days. This is the period of life men have to weep and remember those days which are no more. Now the golden past has left a long distance behind.

Paraphrase:  
Old age is not the stage to observe the world from a height with charmed eyes. Heart becomes very sensitive at the memories of youth. It weeps and feels that golden days of our youth have passed. Now it is the period of decline.

Stanza 5
It is to spend (pay out services) long days
And not once feel (be aware of touching or being touched) that we were ever young.
It is to add, immured (enclose or confine (someone) against their will)
In the hot prison (imprison; lockup) of the present, month
To month with weary (cause to become tired) pain (physical suffering or discomfort; injury).

Reference to the context
This Great Alone Poem, “Growing Old”, written by Mathew Arnold. Here, the poet Arnold presents / asks a series of questions about what growing old is. He describes a Particular loss that we experience as we grow old.

Explanation
It is very difficult to spend the long days of age. Due its sufferings we forget to feel the joy of youth. It seems that this stage of life is hot and enclosed prison. Where a man feels tiredness. With the passage of time nothing increases except pains.

Stanza 6
It is to suffer (tolerate; unpleasant) this,
And feel but half, and feebly ( loudness, brightness, distinctness), what we feel;
Deep (very intense or extreme) in our hidden heart
Festers (become septic; suppurate) the dull remembrance (a memory or recollection) of a change,
But no emotion-none.

Reference to the context
This Great Alone Poem, “Growing Old“, written by Mathew Arnold. The poet Arnold asks a series of questions about what growing old is. He describes a Particular loss that we experience as we grow old.

Explanation
In these lines the poet says that in this stage of life we have to feel the sufferings but not so much. Our feelings become weak. The memory becomes so weak that we cannot sense the change in our hidden heart. We have no emotions at this stage to express our views.

Paraphrase:  
Suffering at old age is felt half heatedly. We feel old this but feebly. Our memory becomes so weak that we cannot feel the change. One has no emotions at this stage.

Stanza 7
It is-last stage of all –
When are frozen up (extreme cold) within, and quite
The phantom of ourselves,
To hear Rhee world applaud (show approval; praise) the hollow ghost
Which blamed ( emphasis; express disapprobation; annoyance) the living man.

Reference to the context
This Great Alone Poem, “Growing Old“, has been written by Mathew Arnold. The poet Arnold asks a series of questions about what growing old is. He describes a Particular loss that we experience as we grow old.

Explanation
In these lines the poet says that it is certainly the last stage of human life. When we feel that we are frozen from inside. As the last moment comes when our spirit leaves our body nothing but applauding voices can be heard by our ghostly body. Who once used to blame the living man.

Paraphrase:  
In the last stage of our human life we feel totally frozen from inside. The man becomes like a ghost. When spirit leaves our body we have to hear the praising voices. Those who once blamed the living man.