Ralph Elegy Poem Analysis

1005 Words 5 Pages
1. When you read this poem what sorts of sounds to you hear?
- When I read it, I hear like music. I feel a sound like a person is running fast and then slows. Like a strong run followed by a smoother one.
2. It is strange that this poem addresses a “you”? Is this “you” the audience? Or, do you think the speaker’s audience is wider? If the audience is wider, who is the audience or reader?
- I think that the speaker is referring to all of us in general. The audience is every person who has achieved something gigantic in his life. The feeling that he has earned that prize is the acknowledgement that they get. I think that is better to die and leave ours achievements behind, so that other people can come and achieve theirs, instead of steeling
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Scholars often refer to Housman’s poem in two ways, as an elegy and as a dramatic monologue. How would you describe the poem? (Elegy: a poem of lament or somber reflection. Dramatic Monologue: poem where the speaker assumes a character, revealed in speech, in relation to a significant event)
- I think that this poem is a dramatic monologue. Because instead of putting himself as a poem he put himself as a athlete. He is really talking about him and his integrity as a poet. He thought that a younger poet will take his place and stole everything that he has made, and be more successful than him.
4. Although the poem focuses on death, some people think that the poem is, ultimately, “upbeat and celebratory.” Do you agree? Why or why not?
- I agree. Because I think that the poem is recognition to the merits that a person has achieved in life. For the writer of this poem, he think that dying young is good because he will not have to see other people that are better than him. He sees the good in the bad event that for him is dead.
5. How does the speaker view death?
- The speaker view death as the best choice in a person who is famous.
6. There is an undertone (underlying or quiet) sense of irony in the poem. In what way is the poem
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“The time you won your town the race/ we chaired you through the market place;/ man and boy stood cheering” (lines 1-3). It is also kind of melancholic because he missed that past life. As the poem develops it change the tone to ironic and optimistic. “Eyes the shady night has shut/ cannot see the record cut/ and silence sounds no worse than cheers”(13-15). It shows irony because it move to have a cheerful life to became and accept death more calmly. He is trying to find the benefits of dying youth.
10. Housman uses personification throughout the poem. For example, how does Housman describe night? (Personification: figurative language where a thing or idea is characterized with human qualities)
-He describes night “eyes the shady night has shut”(13). Night cannot shut, and earth cannot stop one’s ears, it has no hands. In these lines we can see that the writer is trying to tell us through personification, that death is natural and peaceful for him, because it is protecting him for seeing his glory fade and his fate forgotten.
11. What does Housman mean when he says, “And silence sounds no worse then cheers / After earth has stopped the ears”? (lines

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