They could be an Olympic champion or a member of a state championship team. Now we have come from remembrance of things past to the present. So today, on the road all runners come, he is again brought home shoulder-high. Many would have to think the young athlete was lucky because he didn't have to go through the rest of lifes miseries and one would hope the young athlete is in a better place. Teacher Note: Although the poem is about the death of a young man, the tone is upbeat and positive. Housman published two volumes of poetry during his lifetime, A Shropshire Lad and Poems, while a third volume entitled More Poems was released posthumously by his brother.
Ultimately to have lost the challenge cup and for the laurel to have withered, as better, younger athletes usurp his position. Not only does he allow for heroes to exits he gives them their purpose in life. Leggett offers in his book Land of Lost Content: It would be easy to oversimplify the attitude toward death in this poem and regard death merely as an escape from a miserable existence, as many of Housman's critics have insisted. Housman, unlike the majority of people, embraces dying young in a positive manner. To an Athlete Dying Young takes the poetic form of an elegy, with seven quatrains. There are two prominent literary devices used in this poem, personification and apostrophe.
The only characteristic we know of this character is that he is a great athlete, we learn nothing about the character besides the fact that he has won a race. This is made from the character of the persona, his imagined relationship to the dead young athlete and the occasion of the poem. Smart lad, to slip betimes away From fields where glory does not stay, And early though the laurel grows It withers quicker than the rose. And round that early-laurelled head Will flock to gaze the strengthless dead, And find unwithered on its curls The garland briefer than a girl's. An elegy explores several stages of loss, including the lament, praise, and admiration of the dead subject. Narrator Speaker : The poet, Housman, who assumes the persona of a resident of the town in which the athlete lived. The lintel of a grave is the lid of the coffin.
This same line is also an example of personification. He avoids the mournful aspects of one life ending short, but embraces the benefits. Iambic tetrameter consists of a stressed syllable followed by an unstressed syllable. He was, you may recall, a classicist — a professor of Greek and particularly of Latin, and in his poems we often sense the depth that background gives as he mixes the atmosphere of the English town or village with the lingering fragrance of the classic Greco-Roman world of antiquity. Housman, says: Housman achieves the effect of the assertion of two contradictory attitudes--gaiety and grief, triumph and defeat--in a number of poems about death. Upon completing the suggested activities below, students will have a better understanding of how to read and interpret a poem from both the thematic level of death and the detailed level of poetic form. In his poems rhyme, rhythm, emotion, statements, and stylistic precision all dovetail into each other so seamlessly that the whole poem is converted into an object of beauty.
However, Housman explores the idea that dying young is not always negative. One of his finest poems is this — To an Athlete Dying Young. The only way a person can capture it and make it last is to die young after achieving greatness. Even though Housman's poem seems to center on death at a superficial level, many additional themes can be teased out through careful literary analysis. Have each group spend 20 to 25 minutes searching for and exploring poems about death at the or. We must not take this literally.
Smart lad, to slip betimes away From fields where glory does not stay, And early though the laurel grows It withers quicker than the rose. The speaker in the poem, however, praises a young and famous athlete for dying before he became old and forgotten. The speaker feels that dying young is more favorable because when one dies when their merits and achievements are still relevant, they will forever be remembered inr those great memories, as opposed to one dying in their old age with their glory long forgotten. Smart lad, to slip betimes away From fields where glory does not stay, And early though the laurel grows It withers quicker than the rose. Figurative language paints a picture with words to help readers see the story. To-day, the road all runners come, 5 Shoulder-high we bring you home, And set you at your threshold down, Townsman of a stiller town. A question, who is speaking in the poem, is often asked in and about Housmans poem on death.
The poem reveals the concept that those dying at the peak of their glory or youth are really quite lucky. The couplet theme used throughout the poem adds rhythm as well as a sense of repetition, which not only keeps the poem interesting to read, but also reinforces the idea of death. Then those who are left will only remenber and think about what could have been. So set, before its echoes fade, The fleet foot on the sill of shade, And hold to the low lintel up The still-defended challenge-cup. Many poems use other sound devices such as alliteration and rhyme.
The time you won your town the race We chaired you through the market-place; Man and boy stood cheering by, And home we brought you shoulder-high. How does the tone of each poem differ? It is so virile yet so soft, so bold yet so shy, so promissory yet so fatal. Another literary technique that Housman used is metaphors. Along with that come fears of not being able to fulfill all their dreams, not being able to live a prosperous life and take full advantage of their time on earth. Thesis and Outline Thesis: Housman uses visual imagery, double-meaning words, and life cycles to develop a theme of fading glory.