Death is something that many persons fear. In both poems death is viewed diversely. In contemplation upon flowers the persona fears death, while the persona in to an athlete dying young is more acceptant of the fact that death has to happen. In the poem ‘A contemplation upon flowers the persona creates an instance where he admires flowers because of its acceptance to death, this situation is personified. The persona articulates that he wishes he could be as brave as the flowers as they are able to obey the cycle of life and death. The persona makes death seem welcoming and pleasant when he uses the euphemism ‘my bed of earth’. He also presents a sense of irony when he says that the flowers look so fresh and alive when it is facing its very mortality on top of a casket. The persona wishes that he could be this way because he is the opposite, he wants to live forever. The persona wants the flowers to teach him how to accept death. In the poem ‘To an athlete dying young’ the persona takes a different attitude toward death, he congratulates the death of the athlete for escaping the distress of losing his popularity. The persona creates a situation in the first stanza where a young boy wins a race for his town and is lifted on his friend’s shoulders. Stanza two is in contrast to the first stanza, the persona reveals the death of the athlete, ‘Today, the road all runners come/Shoulder-high we bring you home.’ These lines reveal a parallel between the athlete being hoisted in triumph and being lifted in his coffin. The persona then goes on to express how he feels about the death of the athlete by expressing that the young man is smart for escaping the playing fields of life before his fame vanishes.
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