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Is My Team Plowing By A.E. Housman

1217 words - 5 pages

The “Afterlife”…a very curious subject that we as humans want to know about, we never want to experience it but we wonder what it would be like. Me as an individual, I am fascinated by the endless amount of ways life could be after death, if there even is life after death. Maybe one day you have the gloomy ,and desirable curiosity questions floating in your head like, “do they miss me, or have they moved on already?” In “Is my Team Plowing”, by A.E. Housman, the emotional speaker discusses how life goes on after death. The speaker, who is thought to be the friend of a dead man, is guilty for moving on in life and having relations with his deceased friend’s wife, so he is having a moment of guilt in his head or else that’s how I interpreted it.
First we will start off with a brief background of the author. Alfred Edward Housman (A.E Housman) was born on March 26, 1859 near Bromsgrove, Worcestershire. At the age of twelve Housman had lost his mom to cancer, which caused his dad to become an alcoholic. When it seemed that Housman had nothing to live for he earned himself a scholarship to St. John’s College, in Oxford where he studied Latin and Greek. Housman was a homosexual and fell in love with a student who also attended St. John’s College, Moses Jackson. This individual seemed to have a major impact on his life, especially academically, considering he failed all of his final exams. He only published two volumes of poetry; A Shropshire Lad (1896) and Last Poems (1922). Housman had a great life filled with many poetic movies and inspiration lectures on poetry, passing away on April 30, 1936.
The poem summary is a conversation between a young man and his dead friend. The dead man asks his friend a series of different questions about how things are now that he is gone. He asks questions about his lover and how his friend was handling his death. The friend reassures his dead friend that his girl has moved on and that everything was the same with him not being alive. The theme of the poem is telling you that even after you die, life for the rest of the world still goes on. People will eventually be forgotten, and life will continue on earth for everyone else.
The poem structure is an eight stanza quatrain with a rhyme scheme of ABCB. “Is football playing / Along the river shore, / With lads to chase the leather, / Now I stand up no more?” (Housman 9-12). Each stanza alternates between questions from the dead man and answers from his friend. Stanzas that are quoted represent the dead man’s questions. The stanzas without quotations are responses from the friend who is alive. Each stanza is significant because it reveals a little background of some of the things the dead man participated in.
The speaker of the poem is a matter of opinion and how you look at things. One outcome is that it’s the dead man literally talking to his friend in some way and they are discussing life. The second thought is that the friend is having internal...

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