Poetry became my passion after I dropped in love v Walter de la Mare's "Silver" in Mrs. Edna Pickett's sophomore English course circa 1962.

You are watching: To an athlete dying young analysis


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Introduction and also Text the "To one Athlete dying Young"

A. E. Housman's "To one Athlete dying Young" has actually been widely anthologized v the decades since its first appearance in his autobiographical collection, A Shropshire Lad, which has actually stood the check of time to come to be a classic. The poem supplies an unusual method of viewing and accepting death. The assumed that what might otherwise be deemed a tragic occurrence is turn on it head, positing that the young athlete is better off come have passed away young. This concept contrasts with the classic and an ext ordinarily knowledgeable view of death.


The speak is praising the young deceased athlete because that dying prior to he had actually to compete with the humiliation of see his document broken. The young athlete had actually won a race for his town. The proud people of the city had carried him on your shoulders with the thoroughfare celebrate his victory.


The setting of the city is young man's funeral procession wherein the townspeople space again carring the athlete on your shoulders, yet this time he lies in a coffin. After musing ~ above the ns of the young man, the speaker begins to take it comfort in believing that his fatality was fortuitous for the young athlete who currently would it is in spared see his document broken.


Of course, every human being being has his/her very own view regarding the desirability the dying, however in general, no one ever welcomes it. And while Housman’s speaker is not advising young athletes to commit self-destruction to attain this same wanted outcome that he did, the speaker, nevertheless, has made decision that death, at the very least in this case, was not an unwelcome turn of events.

In the Housman poem, reader cannot recognize what the young athlete’s thoughts were. Readers execute not even know how he died, whether by accident or illness. The audience that the city is never told, since the speaker does not wish to emphasis on the incidental. The main concern with i m sorry he transaction is merely the young man's death, and the speak then argues this unique means for mourners to uncover solace after ~ the fact.


To one Athlete dying Young

The time you won your town the gyeongju us chaired you through the market-place; Man and also boy stood cheering by, and home we brought you shoulder-high.

Today, the road all runners come, Shoulder-high we bring you home, And collection you at your threshold down, Townsman that a stiller town.

Smart lad, to on slide betimes away From fields where glory does not stay, and also early despite the laurel grow the withers quicker than the rose.

Eyes the shady night has actually shut Cannot see the document cut, and also silence sounds no worse 보다 cheers After earth has quit the ears.

Now you will certainly not puffy the rout the lads the wore their honours out, Runners whom renown outran and also the surname died prior to the man.

So set, before its echoes fade, The fleet foot top top the sill the shade, and also hold come the short lintel up The still-defended challenge-cup.

And round that early-laurelled head will certainly flock to gaze the strengthless dead, and find unwithered top top its curls The garland briefer 보다 a girl’s.

Reading that "To one Athlete dying Young"


Commentary

This non-traditional method of looking at death was, no doubt, flower to administer solace in ~ the death of a young male in his prime.

First Stanza: Addressing the Deceased Athlete

The time you won your town the race we chaired you through the market-place; Man and boy stand cheering by, and also home we carried you shoulder-high.

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The speaker is addressing the young athlete, recall the young guy of the moment the athlete won a gyeongju for the citizen of his town. The cheered and were merry as they brought the young winner on their shoulders "through the market-place." all the people stood by city hall the parade, cheering that on, no doubt puffing through pride because that their gyeongju winner.