To an Athlete Dying Young A.E. Housman

Essay by chris5552009High School, 11th gradeA, March 2009

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Northcutt � PAGE �1�

Chris Northcutt

Loretta Arnold

Senior English 1B

6 March 2009

To an Athlete Dying Young

A.E Housman wrote "To an Athlete Dying Young" which was he had written. Housman was born on March 26th in 1859. He attended Oxford as a scholar He spent most of this time correcting errors on other people's work. He corrected many poems that taught him a lot of Latin and he eventually mastered the language of Latin. While he was at Oxford he had fell in love with two of his roommates. The names of his roommates where Moses Jackson and A. W. Pollard. Jackson was the love of his life more than pollard because Jackson was heterosexual. When Housman said that he wanted him Jackson said no. Due to Jackson's rejection he failed his classes at Oxford and lost his scholarship. Jackson was an athlete. He chose the name because the literary meaning of the poem is about an athlete that died at a young age.

It also sets the theme of death in the poem and presents the idea that Housman is trying to put across.

The poem has seven stanzas, each containing two couplets to form the stanza. Housman used a combination of iambic tetrameter and trochaic tetrameter with catalexis at the end. Iambic tetrameter uses two unstressed and stressed syllables and has four feet. Trochaic tetrameter uses a two syllable stressed unstressed pattern with four feet. Lines thirteen and fourteen are examples of catalexis. On the fourth foot of each line, there is only one syllable. The absence of the unstressed syllable is called a catalexis and the words shut and cut are the catalectic feet.

In the first stanza, Housman gives the mood and the setting for the poem. The stanza tells you...