The poem (Panic of growing older by Lenrie Peter) is centered on the Genesis of growing older and its implications socially, education and scientifically. In African society, old age is a symbol of experiences and success. Any old age no laced with the above is regarded as a total failure. Old age is also a sign of knowledge and wisdom.
In the poem “The Panic of Growing Older” age are divided into three main classes at twenty seem through hope of gigantic success time and exploration, at thirty introduced through pains, laboratory tests in hospital, not string and less achievements. After that man for the grave, and nothing to show the world since word now has you. The poet (Lenrie Peter) ego is boosted by the concept of twice three score and ten but old age and death are inevitable. Hence we should make provision for old age and impact the world.
Of growing older
spread fluttering winds
from year to year
stilled by hope
of gigantic success
time and exploration
a sudden throb of pain
having nothing to show
in domesticity allow
no sudden leaps
at the moon now.
with red ink
and failures –
nothing to show the world.
Three children the world perhaps
the world expects
it of you. No
specialist’s effort there.
But science give hope
of twice three score
and ten. hope
is not a grain of sand
blades of expectation.
From now on the world has you.
Theme in the Poem Panic Of Growing Older
1. Inevitable of old Age
2. The fear of ageing
3. Impacting the world
Poetic Devices in Panic of Growing Older By Lenrie Peter
The diction adopted by the poet is easily understood and appreciated. The issues raised in the poem are very important to man and its living.
Onomatopoeia: “spread flattering winds”
Symbol: Moon (time), Red (danger)
Biblical Allusion: “Three children the word perhaps the world expects”
Euphemism: “…blades of expectation
Litotes: “from now on the world had you”
AutoBiography of Lenrie Peter
Peters, was born in Bathurst now called Banjul in to Lenrie Ernest Ingram Peter and Kezia Rosemary. Lenrie Sr. was a Sierra Leone Creole of West Indian or black American Origin. Kezia Rosemary was a Gambian Creole of Sierra Leonean Creole origin. Lenrie Jr. grew up in Bathurst and moved to Sierra Leone in 1949, where he was educated at the Prince of Wales School, Freetown, gaining his Higher School Certificate in science Subjects.
In 1952, he went up to Trinity College, Cambridge, to read Natural Sciences, graduating with a B.Sc. In 1956; from 1956 to 1959 he worked and studied at the University College Hospital, London, and 1959 was awarded a medical and surgery diploma from Cambridge.
Peter worked for the BBC from 1955 to 1968, on their Africa programmes.
While at Cambridge he was elected president of the African Students’ Union, and interested himself in Pan-Africanist politics. He also began writing poetry and plays, as well as started work on his only novel, The Second Round (published in 1965). Peters worked in hospitals in Guildford and Northampton before returning to the Gambia, where he had a surgical practice in Banjul. He was a fellow of the West African College of Surgeons and the Royal College of surgeons in England.
Peters was President of the historic Commission of Monuments of the Gambia, was president of the board of directors of the National Library of the Gambia and Gambia College from 1979 to 1987, and was a member and President of the West African Examination Council (WAEC) from 1985 to 1991.
He died in Dakar, Senegal, aged 76.