Poem Analysis: On Turning Ten By Billy Collins

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Revision of “On Turning Ten” Essay Growing up and living in the adult world requires responsibility, knowledge, and independence. A poem by Billy Collins, “On Turning Ten,” describes a young child as he attempts to grasp the concept of growing up and facing the harsh reality of adult life. The narrator uses a melancholy tone to argue that adult life is challenging, and the best way to cope with these challenges is to reminisce about young childhood memories. The young narrator is convinced that adult life will not be much fun. The transition from the fantasy world of children to the adult world is “the beginning of sadness” (24). Although it is quite unusual to think that a ten-year-old would think this way, he recognizes that this transition …show more content…

He knows that “it is too early to be looking back” (8). The narrator is only ten years old and he thinks about the good old days when his life used to be simple. Reflecting on the joyful memories he had when he was younger is how he manages. He remembers, “At four I was an Arabian wizard. I could make myself invisible by drinking a glass of milk a certain way. At seven I was a soldier, at nine a prince” (13-16). He is overcome by nostalgia, thinking about how easy life used to be when he had a great sense of imagination floating around his head as a wizard or a prince. He was able to escape reality and be who he wanted to be with his childhood memories. Deep in thought, he describes “the perfect simplicity of being one and the beautiful complexity introduced by two” (10-11). As a child, it was effortless to enjoy the fantasy world, but as we grow older and experience hardships and problems life becomes more difficult. The “beautiful complexity introduced by two” suggests when we grow up, we have a deeper purpose of our existence. We have to mature by accepting more responsibilities, gaining knowledge, and seeking independence in our life. To conclude, growing up and living in the adult life is strenuous. The narrator copes with growing up by reflecting on his childhood memories. The narrator is melancholy and is filled with woe as he says goodbye to his imagination and hello to the

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