Irony In A. E. Housman’s Poems Essay

Poetry is a way for the author to communicate feelings, ideas, and stories to a reader. The poet A.E. Housman wrote the poems “When I Was One-And-Twenty” and “To An Athlete Dying Young”. In the poem “To An Athlete Dying Young” the poetic devices of repetition and irony are important to the poem. The poetic devices imagery and apostrophe are important to the poem, “When I Was One-And-Twenty”. The relationship that Housman had with his roommate, Moses Jackson, had a large influence on his poetry.
A.E. Housman was born on March 26, 1859 in Fockbury, England (Bloom). During the period that A.E. Housman was at Oxford, many events happened that affected his poetry. Housman was a homosexual, and he had feelings for his roommate, Moses Jackson (Bloom)….

Irony also contributes to the theme and shows the difference between life and death. Irony is found within the last line from the poem, “The garland briefer than a girl’s” (Housman 28). The word “garland” has two meanings in the phrase (Meyer 237). A “garland” can be laurels given to triumphant athletes or it can be a gathering of poetic verses, usually in tribute of someone’s life (Meyer 237). The irony between the meanings of the words, is that of life and death. The last line of the poems means that life withers away like a girls floral headwear, and death overtakes it (Meyer…

Housman. The poems are connected to A.E. Housman’s life and relationship with Moses Jackson. Both poems were written in collection of poems called “A Shropshire Lad” that Housman wrote around the time he failed his final exam in college (To)(When). He failed the exam because he was recovering from being rejected by his roommate, Moses Jackson (Bloom). After failing the exam, Housman thought that he may become a part of the working class, so he wrote about a working class hero in “To An Athlete Dying Young” (Robisch 240). Housman wrote about the importance of love in “When I Was One-And-Twenty” after he was rejected by Moses (Hochman 273). Both poems are connected to Housman’s rejection from Moses…