To An Athlete Dying Young Alfred Housman

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The poem “To An Athlete Dying Young” was composed by Alfred Housman. It is written in the form of an elegy but not in the manner that would be considered normal by most writers or readers. The poem is quite straight-forward as one can tell from the title that it is about an athlete passing away at an early age. However, unlike other poems in the form of an elegy, this particular poem does not describe sadness at such a young person with potential dying. Rather it expresses joy that the athlete passed away at a tender age. This is strange as one would expect the opposite and it is therefore necessary to understand why the writer would compose the poem in such a way. The speaker tells the reader that it was better for the athlete to die so young,…show more content…
At any point of time throughout history, fame has always been considered an important part of society as everyone wants to be well-known and their achievements celebrated. The speaker uses this to explain why the athlete was “smart” to have died young while his fame was at its highest possible level. Housman writes that the athlete will not be like others whose name died before the man. This means that their fame and accomplishments were forgotten even before they died and this made their deaths unimportant events. On the other hand, the athlete who died young was given a funeral that matched his accomplishments and made his name remain famous even after his death. This can be applied to the lives of people who may not be famous as the point the speaker makes is that it is better when a person dies at the peak of the achievements. This could be in the form of a good job or property owned in the modern world. The speaker argues that it would be better for a person to die soon after attaining wealth rather than decades later as the person would be remembered in a more honorable

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