To An Athlete Dying Young And A Contemplation Upon Flowers

753 words - 4 pages

Death is a topic rarely discussed in society, however, in the poems ‘To an Athlete Dying Young’ and ‘A Contemplation Upon Flowers’, death is openly portrayed as the natural, inevitable conclusion to life. They depict how death should be accepted and in some instances commended. Though death is the main theme in both poems, it is reflected from different perspectives.
In the poem ‘A Contemplation Upon Flowers’ by Henry King the comparison of the life of a simple flower is made to the life of a human, in the sense that we both are born, we both live, and we both must die. Majority of people fear death, because of their attraction to worldly possessions or because of the ignorance of what ...view middle of the document...

The persona is basically pointing out that if you die young, in the midst of your success, you will not see your record, or the standard that you have set, broken.
In ‘A Contemplation Upon Flowers’ the poet uses a lot of imagery in such a way to not make death seem a bad thing but more a beautiful one. The poet wishes he could be like flowers, to see death and be happy “Oh that I could my bed of earth but view, and smile and be as cheerful as you.” Here the speaker refers to his resting place as a bed of earth. It is slightly ironic that flowers also come from a bed of earth. “How often have I seen you at a beir, and there look fresh and spruce;”. A beir is a movable frame on which a coffin or a corpse is placed before a burial or cremation, or on which they are carried to the grave. This would generally be a sad image but the poet describes the flowers as spruce and fresh, making it less mournful.
In ‘To An Athlete Dying Young’ a lot of visual images are used. “…townsman of a stiller town.” Here we see the striking image of a graveyard being described. This is the first hint...

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