An Athlete Dying Young Vs Fast Break Essay

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How do “An Athlete Dying Young” and “Fast Break” both bring important elements to the poetry table. “An Athlete Dying Young” presents the question, “Does fame die too?”. Whereas “Fast Break” takes us through an exhilarating play in basketball using an abundance of imagery. Both contain aspects regarding sports, yet portray different tones, literary devices, poetic structure, and messages. The tone of a poem is what the reader feels. “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.” (line 1-4). Here the readers can feel an immediate hit of happiness, joy, and celebration. The image of a celebrated athlete brings forth a sense of joy. This compares well to the excitement that the start of “Fast Break” brings. “A hook shot kisses the rim and hangs there, helplessly, but doesn’t drop, and for once our gangly starting center boxes out his man and times his jump perfectly, gathering the orange leather from the air like a cherished possession” (line 1-6). The piece begins with thrill and anticipation, similar to the feeling “An Athlete Dying Young” brings to the start. Now as the readers continue down to the 4th and 5th stanza in “An Athlete Dying Young”, the mood, or tone, changes. An uneasy feeling of discomfort knowing the athlete has passed occurs.…show more content…
Now “An Athlete Dying Young” contains an AB rhyming scheme and is in an iambic tetrameter. The poem has a da DUM da DUM pattern, which allows the reader to follow along on beat. “Today, the road all runners come” (line 5) is an example of the rhythm. In contrast, “Fast Break” contains no rhyme or rhythm. The free verse aspect of “Fast Break” allows the descriptive words to breathe. The author was able to write the imagery without any guidelines, as a meter and rhyme would hold. “and swiveling back to see an orange blur floating perfectly through the net” (line

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