"To An Athlete Dying Young" Essay

729 words - 3 pages

Being an athlete myself, I understanding this idea of being on top of the world and never wanting to come down. In this A.E. Housman poem this theme is taken to its full extent. Never coming down and losing your fame is death in “To an Athlete Dying Young”. Not ever letting anyone forget who the true champion is and now was. The main theme of this poem is that champions can not be champions forever unless they die a champion.
In today’s world, champions are praised for winning. They could be an Olympic champion or a member of a state championship team. People come together and praise their hard work, and ability to win. Housman brings the idea of the community coming together and “cheering by” (line 4). This win is not just the athletes but the whole town “The time you won your town the race” (line 1). I am district champion and regional finalist in soccer and know how it feels when you have the whole community behind you. You feel like you are being brought up “shoulder-high” (line 4) when you do win. The people in the stands are as happy as the ones’ winning. The town bringing him home “shoulder-high” (line 4) is a metaphor for the young athlete being on top of the world. When my team and I did win, it felt like nothing I have ever felt before. It was a feeling like I had accomplished everything I have ever wanted to do and some more.
In the second stanza the athlete is now deceased. He is being taken to the grave were the athlete shall be buried. Still the young athlete is carried “shoulder-high” (line 6) representing that he is still on top. When my team lost in the regional finals my heart dropped, I went from being the happiest I had ever been to having my shirt over my face covering the pain in each tear. This champion died while he was the happiest he had ever been. The runner had no regrets or sorrow. He died before he could face the downfall. A.E. Housman in this poem...

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