Professor Dr. Z. Yablokova
Dec 4, 2014
Poems “When I Was OneAndTwenty” and “My Heart Leaps Up”.
In the poem “When I Was OneAndTwenty” by A. E. Housman, the speaker receives some advice from an older, wiser person not to rely on love too much. As it states in the first line of this poem, the speaker is twentyone years old, and like any young person he ignores the advice. At the age of twentytwo he finds out that love hurts and the advice he has got, is truthful.
The regularity and accuracy in the structure and rhyme scheme of this poem gives a feeling that this young speaker has all his thoughts and his emotions under control now, but it wasn’t like that before. If to pay attention to the punctuation and the meaningful pauses of this poem, it seems like it is divided into two eightline stanzas with semicolons that neatly break each stanza in half. Also, each stanza begins with the same title line where the speaker says that he is twentyone, and the second line belongs to the wise man saying his message. At the same time the two last lines of each stanza consist of the young speaker`s age at two time frames and his different response on the wise man`s little lessons at that time. It looks like he is a fool at the age of twentyone but he becomes more emotionally mature and logical at twentytwo through his painful love experience. The contraposition of the age of the oneandtwenty, when the speaker is young and stupid, and the twoandtwenty, when he sounds much smarter, gives us the
idea of his maturing or growing up. Also, calling someone else wise means that the speaker is comparatively less than wise. In other words, he was stupid before, but in a year, he became smart enough to realize the truthfulness and wisdom of the pieces of advice. The words “endless rue” gives an impression of the regrets for not listening to the wise man (14). The speaker becomes more conscious, is able to analyze his life and understands that he could have avoided his distress if he listened to someone mature. The usage of repetition in the structure of this poem emphasizes the moral lesson of the whole story. The youth is foolish and one should listen to more mature, older people, instead of going through some painful experience, which could have been avoided. We even can say that the twentytwo years old speaker seems to have become a more materialistic and pragmatic person now. He agrees with the adviser and thinks that love can be bought and sold like jewels. The advisor puts a price tag on the “plenty” and “endless” love as a heart that you cannot share. By saying “Give crowns and pounds and guineas But not your heart away”, the wise man points that the “fancy” heart is worth a lot to the person and better to give all the valuables away than to share a heart with anyone (36). I chose this poem because it reminded me of my first love. I was naïve, young and I was twenty. My first love was unconditional, unselfish and, unfortunately, it was unrequited. This love put me into suffering and humiliation, it turned me into its hostage. I gave my heart to someone who was ignoring my presence. I invested a lot of emotions in the feelings for someone, who was my priority, but for that person I was just an option. I ignored all the wise advice to look at the world in a different perspective. It wasn’t easy letting it go and it really took me some time to realize that sometimes you have to learn to
accept the fact that not all people are meant for you. No matter how much of your heart you put into them. You have to draw a line of determination from desperation and to let it go and give up on that "someone" in order to regain the selfrespect you once had. Realizing that is a huge part of becoming mature in life. It is important to think about ...
Please join StudyMode to read the full document