“To an Athlete Dying Young”, by A.E. Housman, is a thought provoking elegy. The poem is about the early demise of an accomplished runner. Surely, it is sad when someone dies too soon especially when there is so much to look forward to. One may ask, “Is there an advantage of dying young?” Well, there is! In this poem, Housman shows the silver lining to dying young during the height of one’s success.
In his poem “To an Athlete Dying Young”, A.E. Housman makes a quite different approach on death. People have different perspectives on death, but more often than not, it is viewed as an undesirable event that people wish to avoid. The speaker in the poem, however, praises a young and famous athlete for dying before he became old and forgotten. This can be interpreted two very different ways. One can assume Housman believes that the only way for athletes to capture the glory is to die when at the peak of their careers. One might criticize him for having such a pessimistic view of life, but we must realize that we are among many people who give those athletes the feeling of disgrace as they are no
In this semester we read countless texts all with different messages and significances. The epic poems, stories, sonnets all ranged from being centered around battles and war, dealing with death, love, greed and sorrow or pain. From starting off the year reading Beowulf to finishing off with the Lord of the Flies by William Golding, as a student sitting in room 303 you learn to read the text word for word and in-between what’s actually stated. The written language that most of the texts we are required to write aren’t the easiest to interpret. Although, when you read clearly you don’t only start to understand the stories entirety, but also its
The poem “To an Athlete Dying Young” by A.E. Housman is not just about the death of an athlete, but remembering the great accomplishments of the person after they are gone. This poem is a symbolic poem and is for the people to know that it is sad when a child passes, his name will still live on in all that is done throughout the small town in which he resided. The author uses the young athlete as a symbol of the fame and fortune that the town will receive after his passing.
Earlier in the poem, the poet depicts the final words of the last survivor of a forgotten race. He speaks of people “ruined in war” and of piles of armor, jewels, and gold and no one
A.E. Housman first message from the poem “To an Athlete Dying Young” is which is better, to die at a young age when you’re still famous or dying old when everyone has forgotten you. This is a tough question because to athletes being remembered means a lot to them. Obviously they want to live a full life and experience everything they can but they also want to be remembered by their accomplishments at a young age. “Smart lad, to slip betimes away” (line 9) explains Housman opinion on this message. In the poem a young athlete who was a town 's hero died suddenly and Housman is saying that he is smart for dying at a young age. Saying that the fame is going to die before the man, so he will never have to experience about being forgotten when he got older. Saying that
The poems “Do Not Go Gentle into that Good Night” by Dylan Thomas and “To an Athlete Dying Young” by A. E. Housman both discuss how each author views death. But, both poems have drastically different opinions upon the matter. Thomas in “Do Not Go Gentle” is full despair and hatred towards death, and is tries to convince his father not to accept death. Whereas, Housman in “To an Athlete” expresses that a young death is beautiful and glorious. That a young death shouldn’t be just seen as sad, but more as honorable.
People would not want to hear that their loved ones merely gave up and died passively. This poem in itself is a celebration of life, the poem is not only about death but it is an affirmation of life. To further emphasise the points being made Dylan Thomas utilises a wide range of literary devices. Parallelism is used from lines seven to fifteen to juxtapose the different attitudes of the so called “genres” of men at their death. This is used to outline that if you continuously lead one set type of lifestyle whether it is as a “wild man”, a “grave man” or a “good man” you will not be satisfied when your time comes to die. The only true way to be satisfied is to live a life of balance; only with a good contrast can you be at peace.
Even at its time of conception, the American culture thrived off of games and sports. Nowadays, it is even possible to get through college by just throwing a ball around. Of course; however, it isn’t that simple. But, is it really okay for a student to be able to get themselves through college because of their ability to play sports and not their academic skills? In an essay in the book America Now: Short Readings from Recent Periodicals titled “The Student Athlete” by Red Smith; is a story about said student. Walter Wellesley “Red” Smith, who hailed from Green Bay, Wisconsin, studied journalism at Notre Dame to later pursue a career in sports writing. This one piece in particular focuses on a student that wrote an essay to one of his professors regarding why his teammate took the place of first string when he was better at passing than the starting quarterback. The essay was borderline illegible -- the grammar being something expected of an elementary student. Things like repeated or unnecessarily omitted words would appear, a severe lack and overall misuse of punctuation, and a slew of other fatal grammatical errors plagued his paper. So then arises the question: “should we be allowing students to progress through
The crowd is going nuts, he made the winning basket, and the Warriors win! This sounds a lot like an athlete at the high school level of sports winning the game and everyone gets excited. High school is the primary years of learning a sport and finding your talents. As you enter college and continue to do sports, you find that your talent is met with many other people who also are good at a particular sport. Sports can be anything including basketball, football, soccer, badminton, tennis, ping pong, and even cross country skiing. You are considered an athlete if you participate in any sport. So being named an athlete is an honor because your skills are put to the test at all ages which leads to the question of: does aging bring only
The third stanza is addressed to ‘good men’ who regret their choices in life and think of how much they could have achieved, if they had only had lived longer. Poetic techniques used in this stanza are personification, symbolism, repetition and rhyme. In the second line, we see the use of personification when Thomas writes of how “their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay”, referring to the ‘good men’. This line paints a picture of how the frail
The poet then presents a scene of patriotic relevance as he describes a scene of a regiment marching into battle with their “flag” and “Eagle with crest of red and gold” (17-18). When people think of flags, they think of patriotism and representing their country. Eagles also symbolize freedom but as readers can witness in the work, the poet makes it seem as if these men were created not to enjoy the gift of life for one moment by him saying “These men were born to drill and die” (19). This comes across to the reader as almost inhumane. Then by illustrating an image of a field of thousands of dead corpses makes any reader wonder why people even go to war. The whole fourth stanza paints a picture of living human being going into a battle with most, if not any, making it out alive. Like stated before, the speaker in the poem builds a case for those people that opposed to war even though the title of the poem might
A.E. Houseman described the thoughts and voices that pass through an Olympian’s mind while competing in the Olympics in the poem “To an Athlete Dying Young.” This phenomenal piece of poetry is not only moving, but it is touching to the reader's mind. Upon reading the poem, the reader will discover that “To an Athlete Dying Young” truly defines all of the thoughts that go through an athlete’s mind. A.E. Houseman used many poetic devices that provide another thrill to the writing. In the fascinating poem about an athlete, alliteration, repetition, and hyperbole is used numerous times throughout the poem.
They "jockey for position" as if gearing up for a some imagined competition. The poem's tone becomes one of anticipation and nervousness. The boys are like horses in their racing gates, waiting for the run to start. We can almost hear the snorting noses and the pawing feet. This aggressive competitiveness is also shown by the "small fights breaking out and calming", again like horses in a pen, waiting for release.
. . should burn and rave at the close of day”(2). This means that old men should fight when they are dying and their age should not prevent them from resisting death. Another example of personification in the poem is “Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay”(8). This line personifies the men’s frail deeds by saying that they could have danced. This means that the potential actions of the men could have flourished and contributed greatly to their lives. The metaphor “. . . words had forked no lightning. . .”(5) is about how the men had done nothing significant with their lives. They had not achieved anything great or caused a major change. The simile “Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay” is about how even grave and serious men will fight against death for as long as they can. Another notable example of figurative language within the poem is “. . . blinding sight”(13). This oxymoron details how the men can see very well and it is very obvious to them that they will die soon, but they know that they can control how they will leave this world. There is an abundance of imagery within this poem, a few examples of which are “. . . danced in a green bay”(8), and “. . . caught and sang the sun in flight”(10) . These examples of imagery are both appealing to the sense of sight by using descriptive words such as “Green” and “danced” in the first example and words such as “caught” and “flight” among others. The second example also appeals to the sense of sound by