In the world of drama and sports, there is always the thrill of the victory and also the accompaniment of the agony that comes by being defeated. The poem “To an Athlete Dying Young” for the lovers of drama and sport may be your daily cup of tea; it is such a fascinating poem despite that we can call it an oldie, but it still a super relevant in our contemporary world: today we still have sports and people die now and then.
The poem is all about an athlete who surprisingly passes away very young. The ironical thing is that the author, Mr. Housman doesn’t spend a large amount of time lamenting about the young man demise, instead, he prefers to concern himself with the positive aspects of the young man. More so, this is far from the classic approach in an elegy.
As we have already seen, “To an Athlete Dying Young” is not all about death, there is also the theme of fame. In our contemporary world, fame is nothing new, but the funny thing about fame is that despite it having its challenges, everyone want to be fame. A.E Hou...
sman uses this poem to illustrate to us how high in our priority we do value fame.
The short elegy is employed by the author to advance the opinion that it is far good to die in one’s prime, where one will be remembered for youthful accomplishments than to become weak, forgotten, ignored, or also to be replaced in the memories and hearts of one’s townsfolk. The classic detachment, observant tone that is frequently used by the author whereby he describes the celebrated dead youth as “Smart lad, to slip betimes away from fields where glory does not stay…..”
In conclusion, we can describe “To an Athlete Dying Young” as an indicative poem that illustrates Mr. Housman technical skills in crafting a poem. The usage of even meter and the taut rhyme are employed deliberately bring the somber, and reflective mood that is developed from the onset of the first stanza. Contrasting symbols and images that are also jammed by the funeral victory parade, Laurel, and roses, are used to complement to a deceptively simple poem.