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The poem is a record of what may happen to a human being as soon as he

or she observes the world. Such an individual engages the world at his

or her youthfulness. As the years tick away like a clock, there is a

growing awareness that one "from year to year" is growing older. Thus,

"panic spreads" its "fluttering wings" round its victim.

At the age of twenty, one swims in hope and expectation of a

successful future. At thirty, one is quite healthy such that if one

were to be visited by pain nothing would show in the laboratory tests.

About this age, perhaps, one has been involved in marriage during

which "legs cribbed in domesticity", and there is no more room for

junketing or dancing around. It may be because of the enormous

responsibility of raising a family. This is followed by a period of

evaluation which may be akin to a "copybook" filled with "red ink and

failures"; one even realizing that there is "nothing to show the


The individual may have begotten "three children" which is not a big

deal since there is "no specialist's effort" required to procreate.

Science gives the hope of longevity, of doubling human lifespan but

hope is not something tangible, an object one can hold on to. The

satisfaction may not be there since expectation may not yet have been

achieved. At the point "the world has you," one may be weak or

defeated as in a wrestling contest.

Article Source:- (A literature-in-English textbook for WAEC or WASSCE)

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