Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Today, We Honor a Friend

To An Athlete Dying Young
By A.E. Housman

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.

To-day, 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.

My AP Lang students don't always understand the meaning of this poem, nor the author's intent. One thing they do get, though: By dying young, the athlete is more or less "frozen in time." We will remember his accomplishments as we age.

Ella Numera Dos came home yesterday to honor a friend. I've taken the day off. Our family...three-quarters of us, anyway...will be at church later this morning. Please keep Jordan, his folks & his sister in your thoughts and prayers. Thanks.

7 comments:

Cori Lynn Berg said...

Thanks for sharing this poem. I know this is a hard time for your daughter and your family and you will be in my prayers.

Lynda said...

Sending healing thoughts to your daughter and the family.

Em said...

Sending thoughts and prayers on this difficult day.

Susie said...

That's so tough. My thoughts are with you.

Tara R. said...

Prayers to Jordan's family and friends.

Shawn said...

This is hard for the family, I am sure----Hope they can feel comfort at this difficult time....

Marrdy said...

Great poem. Hope your daughter gets through this OK along with the family and other friends.

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