A Rose For Emily by A.E Houseman

Essay by Jaalam AikenUniversity, Bachelor'sA+, February 1997

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I'm not sure when A.E. Housman wrote this poem, however, even at twenty I can

identify. This poem gives light to the risk of love by accentuating the pain of losing in


The opening line, "When I was one and twenty" may be taken literally that he

was twenty one, but for reader's sake it may be better just for this to represent a young

age. An age where one is quick to give his heart away. An age where the normal college

guy doesn't give much thought to his choices or decisions. The second line, "I heard a

wise man say" sets up the rest of the poem. From this point on the man in the poem just

repeats the advice the "wise man" gave him. It is also important because it is at such an

age that most people are given advice by some adult figure that will stick with us for the

rest of our lives.

"Give crowns and pounds and guineas But not your heart away;". This can also

be put: You can always make more money, but you only have one heart. I can't

remember the money I've spent on dates, but I cannot forget the one time I gave my heart

away. I wish I would have just spent more money on that girl...I think she would have

appreciated that a lot more.

"Give pearls away and rubies But keep your fancy free." I couldn't help but

conjuring the image of a seventies pimp when thinking of this line. The movie stereotype

was always buying things for his girls, but that never meant that he loved them. In all

seriousness, this line holds the key to dating and liking it. Anyone who falls for every

girl he...