To An Athlete Dying Young, by A.E. Houseman and Crossing The Bar, by Lord Alfred Tennyson

1101 Words 5 Pages
“To An Athlete Dying Young” by A.E. Houseman and “Crossing The Bar” by Alfred, Lord Tennyson are poems that very similar to each other yet so different. “To An Athlete Dying Young” is about an athlete who dies young and Houseman congratulates him because people will remember him forever. “Crossing the Bar” is about Tennyson realizing that he is about to die and he accepts his fate. Both poems have a similar theme of death. Both authors make clever uses of symbols such as, in “To An Athlete Dying Young,” Tennyson uses a laurel plant, and a rose plant to symbolize the athlete’s accomplishments. In “Crossing the Bar”, Tennyson uses the sandbar to symbolize the crossing over. However, the rhyme scheme of these poems is different. Houseman …show more content…
He knows that his time is coming soon but Tennyson does not want anyone to be sad because he is going to see his “pilot face to face (15).” Death gives him a chance to traverse through the threshold of life and into the afterlife. Tennyson does not think that death is the end, but a beginning because his spirit will live on with god. He wants death to free him from his hollow shell of a body. He sees death as a way to reach god and conveys the message that people should not fear death. Tennyson’s view of death is similar to that of Houseman’s because they both feel that death is not something to mourn over. Houseman believes that since the athlete dies very young, he will forever be remembered by people for what he accomplished. Tennyson believes in death in which he tells people to be glad that death has given him a chance to see god. Furthermore, both of these poems make clever uses of symbols. In “To An Athlete Dying Young,” Houseman uses plants such as the laurel and the rose to describe an athlete’s accomplishments. In line 11-12 he says “and early through the laurel grows/it withers quicker than the rose.” Houseman’s use of the laurel describes the athlete’s courage. In Greek mythology, the strongest warriors were given a wreath made of the laurel plant which is a symbol of victory and courage. Houseman uses the laurel to signify the young

More about To An Athlete Dying Young, by A.E. Houseman and Crossing The Bar, by Lord Alfred Tennyson

Open Document