To An Athlete Dying Young by Robert Frost

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To An Athlete Dying Young is a poem written by American poet Robert Frost. Its structure is comprised of seven stanzas, each of which contains four lines. The poem seems to be both a mourning and an acceptance of death. It has been categorized as an elegy. However, there is some debate on whether the poem is a satire or a literary work.


In the poem, Housman conveys the tension that makes the life of a young athlete so important. The poem is composed of seven quatrains, which follow a regular rhyme scheme and change end sounds from stanza to stanza. This elegy is divided into three sections: the first deals with the athlete's childhood, the second deals with death, and the third describes the speaker's vision of the afterlife.

Athletes' lives are not permanent, and they will eventually fade away. The speaker says that the athlete's "laurel is like roses in the earth;" he will never hear the celebration of breaking the world's record in running. He'll join the ranks of young men whose fame outpaced their reputation. Athletes will always live on in the mind, as the speaker points out in the poem.

Image of laurel wreath

In a poem titled "To an Athlete Dying Young," the speaker describes an athlete who dies on the threshold of glory. The victors are draped in a laurel wreath and win public esteem and admiration. The poem, which dates back to ancient Greece, uses a poetic image that is as old as poetry itself. However, despite its ancient origins, it remains a modern symbol of success. Its use as a symbol of glory and success in sports has been challenged by critics and poets alike.

"To an Athlete Dying Young" is an elegy written in a person's honor. However, it is not the same as a eulogy, which is intended to be read at a funeral. In "To an Athlete Dying Young," the writer aims to honor the athlete and to lament the tragic loss of his life. The speaker attempts to portray the athlete as a positive role model, while also lamenting his untimely death.

Tone of poem

The tone of a poem to an athlete dying young is straightforward elegiac: the poet is commemorating a life that was short but full of glory. The poet compares the young athlete's early death to growing old and becoming forgotten. The speaker seems to be making a point to make death seem like a blessing rather than a curse. Interestingly, the speaker also makes use of oxymorons and metaphors to show the irony of death.

The tone of a poem to an athlete dying young shifts from somber to optimistic as the speaker describes a funeral procession for the athlete. The speaker compares the athlete's death to a rose, noting that laurel dies much quicker than rose. This transition between the somber and happy tone of the poem is not a subtle one. The speaker is attempting to make a point that fame and glory can only be captured when they are dying.

Sentence structure of poem

"To an Athlete Dying Young" by F. Scott Fitzgerald explores themes related to death. The speaker of the poem could be the personification of Death. Death allows the athlete to die and become a champion forever. The speaker of the poem praises the athlete for dying splendidly. The speaker also uses imagery to allude to the passing of the town and the afterlife. This is a well-written poem that is a perfect example of the iambic pattern.

This poem is a beautiful, poignant eulogy for a young athlete dying of cancer. The speaker praises the athlete for his early death, while at the same time pointing out that the athlete's glory will remain in the world after his death. This poem may be ironic, as the speaker exaggerates the athlete's achievements and suggests that he is critiquing a society that values youthful glory.

Author's view on premature death of young athletes

The rapid rise in the incidence of sudden death among young competitive athletes has been accompanied by a growing body of evidence and controversy. While the causes of premature death in young athletes are still poorly understood, recent research on genetic and congenital cardiovascular disease has led to considerable progress. Other causes, such as blunt trauma and the sickle-cell trait, are more clearly understood, but a consensus guideline or preparticipation screening has not been developed yet. As a result, this journey has generated large volumes of data and controversy, and continues to hold great interest for clinical scientists, medical practitioners, and the public.

A large registry of deaths in youth and adult athletes was assembled using systematic identification and tracking strategies. Between 1980 and 2006, 1866 young athletes died suddenly. Of those, only a few survived cardiac arrest. The athletes who died during this period were participants in 38 different sports. Cardiovascular disease was the leading cause of sudden death, but blunt trauma and heat stroke were also considered causes of death. But the researchers also noted that COVID-19, a disease that can lead to heart muscle inflammation, is becoming more common among student athletes.

Influence of Housman's early death on poem

The influence of Housman's early death on his poem can be seen from the juxtaposition of the speaker's self-pity and the poet's moral dilemma. In "Dear Life," Housman expresses the conflict between intense feeling and intense inhibition, and the juxtaposition strikes first readers as quintessentially English. Forster noted that Englishmen are afraid to feel, and Housman is expressing this fear with sexual caution.

Born in Worcestershire, Housman lived at Valley House in Fockbury, where he was a child. He attended St. John's College, Oxford, and graduated with first class honours in classical moderations. During his time at the college, he met and fell in love with Moses Jackson. Although his final exams were difficult, he was still able to finish his degree, which allowed him to work as a Patent Office clerk for ten years.

June 07, 2022




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