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Alfred Edward Housman

Page history last edited by PBworks 13 years, 3 months ago

Alfred Edward Housman




Alfred Edward Housman was born in Fockbury, England. He was a

very successful student until 1881 when he failed his final exams

at Oxford University. The determination of this man lead him to earn

his M.A. and later become a professor at Cambridge. (bedfordmartins homepage)


Poetry was a main aspect of A.E. Housman's life. He struggled to

relate to others so poetry was his way of expressing his emotions.

Many of his works were about the decaying youth, grief, death, and love.

During his life he published only two volumes of poetry. Many of these poems

were written after the death of one of his best friends, Adalbert Jackson.

Dedication made Housman become a very known poet today.



To An Athlete Dying Young                                                          


The time you won your town the race

We chaired you through the market-place;                                  

Man and boy stood cheering by,

And home we brought you shoulder-high.


To-day, the road all runners come,

Shoulder-high we bring you home,

And set you at your threshold down,

Townsman of a stiller town.


Smart lad, to slip bedtimes away

From fields where glory does not stay,

And early though the laurel grows

It withers quicker than the rose.


Eyes the shady night has shut

Can not see the record cut,

And silence sounds no worse than cheers

After earth has stopped the ears:


Now you will not swell the rout

Of lads that wore their honours out,

Runners who reown outran

And the name died before the man.


So, set before the echoes fade,

The fleet foot on the sill of shade,

And hold to the low lintel up

The still-defended challenge-cup.


And round that early laurelled- head

Will flock to gaze the strengthless dead,

And find unwithered on its curls

The garland briefer than a girl's.




The poem above explains how all good things will eventually come to an end. At first you will be greatly praised for your accomplishments, but


it will soon fade away. One day you will die and all your struggle and hardwork will not have ment as much as it did when you were alive. The author


mentions the "still-defended cup". This is a metaphor to each hurdle that someone has to overcome in a lifetime. Just as runners must jump hurdles 


so must you win the race of life.



Because I Liked You Better


Beacuse I liked you better

   Than suits a man to say,

It irked you, and I prmoised

   To throw the thought away.


To put the world between us

   We parted, stiff and dry;

'Good-bye,' said you, 'forget me'

   'I will, no fear', said I.


If here, where clovers whitens

   The dead man's knoll, you pass,

And no tall flower to meet you

   Starts in the trefoiled grass,


Halt by the headstone naming

   The heart no longer stirred,

And say the lad that loved you

   Was one that kept his word.





 The poem above expresses how two friends went on their separate ways. The two friends became worlds apart. The author states that the two


parted "stiff and dry". The two people left their feelings behind without caring. If the two men met later in life they would both ignore each other.


 THe hearts of the two no longer cared. They kept their promise to each other and threw away all of their emotions and forget the past they once


shared. We experience this in everyday life where we move on to new journeys and experiences. Sometimes we have to let things go, move on, and


live our own life. We have to do what is best for ourselves.  






(biography and poems)



 (famous quotes by A E Housman)


Works Cited


"Poetry". 1999 07 May 2007 <http://www.bedfordstmartins.com/litlinks/poetry/housman.htm>.


"A E Housman". 2007 07 May 2007 <http://www.poets.org/poet.php/prmPID/631>.





Comments (4)

Anonymous said

at 9:13 am on May 10, 2007

Good poems, good information!!

Anonymous said

at 9:21 am on May 10, 2007

"To An Athlete Dying Young" and "Because I Liked You Better" were interesting poems. Especially "To An Athelete Dying Young", when he talks about how the fame and glory of winning eventually fades away and is "strengthless". Also great information on your poet! - Malea Proeschel

Anonymous said

at 9:25 am on May 10, 2007

We liked your choice of poems. They were interesting to read. The second one was great. We can realate to it.
Good job with your page.
From: Jake Erickson and Savannah Bastian

Anonymous said

at 9:48 am on May 10, 2007

With the second poem I see where you got that two friends split apart and never spoke to one another but what I see is that it was a young man and a young woman that were friends. The man wanted a different type of relationship than the woman wanted so they went their separate ways. Brianna Finnegan

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