POL: Analysis of Poem “To An Athlete Dying Young”To an Athlete Dying YoungBy A. E. Housman The time you won your town the race We chaired you through the market-place; Man and boy stood cheering by, A

POL: Analysis of Poem “To An Athlete Dying Young”To an Athlete Dying YoungBy A. E. Housman

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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.

Today, 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 betimes 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

Cannot 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 whom renown outran

And the name died before the man.

So set, before its 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.

Directions: When you are asked to provide the chunks of your poem, make sure you provide all of them. For the purpose of this activity, do not use more than four lines for a chunk.

Poetry Exploration: Syntax (5)

Directions: Take the poem you are memorizing for POL and divide it by chunks using syntax. Type / copy each chunk on a line. Pay particular attention to where punctuation is, so as to pause appropriately. Re-write your poem based on those chunks/pauses.

Poetry Exploration: Imagery (5)

Directions: Identify every image in your poem. Write the phrase in the appropriate category.






Poetry Exploration: Title (5)

For #1 indicate the prediction you made with the title. If your poem is a sonnet which uses the first line as the little, work with the first line. 

For #2, indicate what the poem actually ended up being about.

For #3, explain why the title is appropriate for the poem. 

Poetry Exploration: Speaker/Situation  (5)

 Explain in a sentence who the speaker of the poem is.  

Next, pull some line/phrase/idea from the poem that supports your assertion of who the speaker is.

 Finally, in one sentence, explain the situation that requires the writing of this poem. What has the speaker experienced to make him/her/it write this poem?


How I know: 


Poetry Exploration: Denotation  (5)

Directions: Define all the words you do not know in your poem. Do NOT use the root of a word to define itself. Use the definition that is appropriate for the poem. If you know the definition of every single word, then choose 4 words that are the most challenging vocabulary and provide that definition. INCLUDE any word you do not know how to say. 



Poetry Exploration: Connotation- All the thoughts, feelings, words, cultural associations, extended definition of a word.(10)

Directions: Copy/paste your POL poem divided by chunks on the left side. In the middle column, identify the MOST important word in the chunk and type that word. To determine the most important word, ask yourself which word makes a difference to the meaning or more of an impact on meaning. Once you have identified the most impactful word in the chunk, spend time writing all of the connotations you have with the word.  Eventually, you will begin to notice a pattern of the same type of connotations emerging from the poem. Note – when working with this step for class, work to identify a minimum of 10 total words in your poem. If you have fewer than 10 chunks, you may have to choose more than one important word for connotation. If you have more than 10 chunks, make sure you work with each chunk.



Your Extended Definition

7. Poetry Exploration: Summary/Paraphrase (5)

Directions: You should already have your poem for POL divided by syntactical units/chunks. In the table below, copy your poem one chunk at a time on the left-hand column. On the right-hand column, summarize or paraphrase what is happening for that chunk or what the meaning is of that chunk. 

Your Poem Chunk by Chunk

Your Summary or Paraphrase of the Chunk

8. Poetry Exploration: Figurative Language (5)

Directions: Identify ALL of the figurative language/metaphor umbrella used in your poem. You may refer to the Metaphors and Meaning handout for your list of figurative language. 

 On the left hand column insert every single chunk of your poem.

 In the next column write N/A if there is not any figurative language. If there is figurative language, identify the type.

 In the next column write a sentence saying what is being compared to what. 

In the final column, write a sentence explaining the significance of the comparison. Explain what more you understand with the comparison.





POL: Tone Analysis of Poem (5)

Directions: Use the provided tone lists in the Poetry section of Classroom to determine the tone that is appropriate for each syntactic unit/chunk. Highlight where you see the major shift in the poem. Remember that a shift in tone can be complementary or contrasting. You must choose a specific tone word. You may not choose a general category. 

Syntactic Unit / Chunk from Poem

The tone you will use in delivery of chunk