‘The Old Woman’ is a simple and short poem by Joseph Campbell where he compares old women with different things and describes her.
There are three slogans in this poem. In the first instance, the poet compares an old woman to a white candle.
White is a symbol of friendship and a candle is a symbol of light. The old woman is like a white candle. She is calm and she enlightens other people with her experiences. He succeeds in showing the right path that he needs.
In the second category, the author portrays the old woman’s mother in the winter sunlight. This leads to the longevity of an old woman. But soon she is as old as the winter sun, but she has accumulated a vast experience of life. The poet writes, “A woman who is in pain.”
In the final stages, the poet compares the old woman to the water under the demolished mill. The water is still under the rubble mill and compares the poet to the old woman who writes that all her sons are gone, she does not live with him.
But he has all the memories, like water under a millstone. Even though they are gone, she cannot forget them. So, in this poem, Campbell describes the beauty, experience, and emotions of an old woman.
The Old Woman Poem
“As a White Candle
In a Holy place
So is the beauty
Of an aged face.”
“As the spent radiance
of the winter sun,
So is a woman
with her travel done.”
“Her brood gone from her
And her thoughts as still
As the water
Under a ruined mill.”
EXERCISE English for Class 9th The Old Woman poem
Who does the poet praise in the poem “The Old Woman”?
The person who is praised in the poem:
The poet praises the old woman in• the poem. He compares the beauty of her aged face with the white candle in a holy place. As a white candle in a holy place is a symbol of beauty, light and guidance, likewise, the presence of an old woman is the beauty of our society. She guides us with her experiences. Further, the poet describes her past tough life. She has lost her energy for the sack of her children and home.
What does a white candle represent in the poem ‘The Old Woman’?
The elements represented by a white candle:
A white candle represents beauty, light, and guidance in the poem. The poet compares the old woman to a white candle because she is also a symbol of beauty, light, and guidance. She is the beauty of our society and she guides us and enlightens us with her experiences.
What is the message in the poem ‘The Old Woman’?
The message in the poem:
In this poem, the poet’s aim is to highlight the laborious and difficult life of the old woman. She does very hard work for her children throughout her life but in the last, she is left alone. The poet wants to convey a message in the poem that we should respect our elders and should learn from their experiences. We should never leave them alone.
Q 4: Why does the poet compare old woman to a ‘white candle in a holy place’, the winter sun, and the water under a ruined min in the poem ‘the old woman’?
Ans: The reason to compare an old woman to a ‘white candle in a holy place’:
The poet compares an old woman to a white candle. As a white candle in a holy place is a symbol of beauty, light, and guidance, likewise, the presence of an old woman is the beauty of our society and she guides us and enlightens us with her experiences.
The reason to compare an old woman to ‘the winter sun’:
As in the winter season, the warmness and brightness of the sun are dim; likewise, the old woman’s energy is weak after passing through a very laborious life. The reason to compare an old woman to ‘the water under a ruined mill’:
Here the poet compares the children with a destroyed mill that has left its duty and the old woman’s thoughts and love with water that flows continuously under the mill. Her children have gone from her and she leads a life of solitude. But her love for her children is the same and continuous like the water flowing continuously under a destroyed mill.
Do you like this poem? Why?
Yes, I like this poem very much because the poet has described the beauty, experience and tough life of the old woman in an inspirational way. The poet has presented tribute to the old woman who gives great sacrifices for the prosperity of her family but in the last, she is left alone. The poem is simple and realistic so I like this poem.