To An Athlete Dying Young

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To An Athlete Dying Young
"To An Athlete Dying Young," talks about a young athlete who has brought praises and honor to the community, both young and old cheered the athlete and ...
were proud to let the whole world know of their success. However, the athlete does not only enjoy the glory and fame. There are hard times, and the athlete is urged to remain steadfast and remember that all the glory and fame can fade at any time. The athlete is advised to make the most of the time and ensure to achieve the best as the cheers and silence will no longer be different.
The poem has been presented using easy to understand language, the purpose of the poem is direct, and the tone is clear. The poet has studied the way of the society, and this provoked the writing of the poem, it educative and very easily understood, relevant in years to come as it speaks of things that happen in every era. The poem explains of a young athlete who had years to enjoy the tributes from the community members; it is a call for action to ensure that the athlete stays alert and do not forget the best path to follow.
In-depth analysis of the poem
The first verse of the poem explains how the community felt, "We chaired you through the market-place," it was a proud moment for the community and all members of the community joined in the celebrations. From the competition, the athlete was treated like a king and not afraid to let the whole world know about the victory. On the second part, the poet continues to explain how more success stories were heard in the community and more athletes were celebrated.
The poet also expresses that though the laurel grows it withers quicker than the rose, this shows how success and fame can slip away. Things might seem to be working out, but with time the beauty of the laurel is no more and just like the laurel an athlete should also be careful to ensure the glory stays in the community. The poet goes on to emphasize the importance of planning before things fall out of place. However if not careful the athlete will end up strengthless, and despite many efforts, efforts on a strength less team will not yield any fruits. The poet advice to the athlete is to be careful as silence may no longer sound different from cheers, and this is to show the downfall of the athlete, the end of his/her name even before their career is over.
Connotation
The poet uses a laurel to explain possible outcomes; a laurel grows to make a shrub that has glossy leaves. It is compared with a rose flower, and this tells that though a lot of emphases will be put on some matters, it is not a guarantee that they emerge to be the best. It is a call to action for the athlete to be careful and remember that even after the praises and awards withering is still possible.
"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."
This verse continues to lay emphasis on preparedness, before the echoes fade, and safeguard precious assets in the safe place this will help to defend the honor even amid the challenges.
"And round that early-laurelled head," this part explains how the success of the athlete came in early. Therefore showing that the subject (athlete) is young and might not have been ready for big expectations in life, the athlete despite his tenderness led the way and shaped the success in his community, and other members followed carefully in his steps.
Attitude
The attitude of the poet is well described from the tone of the poem, the poem transitions from praises and how the athlete made the community proud. The poet later cautions the athlete of the possible dangers and why it is essential not to get overwhelmed with the awards as this will reduce the potential for future awards. The tone used in this poem is advisory, the poet has advised on the best ways to guard valuable assets, "so set, before its echoes fade, The fleet foot on the sill of shade." It is a clear indication that the poet desires for the athlete to succeed and also gives ideas on how to achieve this, the tone too displays rebuke. And discourages arrogance as this will lead to the downfall and expounds on how in some cases the name died before the man (successful athlete).
Shift
As earlier noted the poem transitions from one tone to another, the shifts, therefore, shows the development from a praising tone to an advisory tone. "Townsman of a stiller town," is the end of the praises part while "smart lad, to slip betimes away," is the beginning of advice.
This analysis is essential in the understanding of the poem, it has broken up the poem into different sections and explaining in depth what each section stands for, poems are a form of expression and understanding what one means is vital, not understanding the meaning of a poem can cause confusion and misunderstandings. Analysis has also helped us to identify the tone/attitude of the poem, identify the shifts from one tone to the other as well as expounding on the connotation.
Title
After carefully analyzing the poem the title "To An Athlete Dying Young," has portrayed the poem as it is and made it easier to understand the contents of the poem, from the title one can identify the tone to be used and be acquainted with the message of the piece.
Final remarks
Apart from expressing how a poet feelings, a poet could also write a poem to educate others, to make people better in a society and this poem displays just that. It starts by showing us the success of an athlete in a community, and how it showed with praises, the poet also notes that if not careful the raises can be short-lived and the name was forgotten. The poet then goes on to provide tips on how to guard the success. The reality of life is that everything acquired needs to be safeguarded, this not only applies to an athlete but in all aspects of life. From education to relationships to work, maintaining and ensuring the success does not fall is also the hardest part and thus in each aspect of life, it is crucial to identify how to guard the precious things in our life.

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