When I Was One And Twenty Poem Analysis

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Turning twenty-one years old puts a person in a position to be universally regarded as an adult. Both Samuel Johnson in his poem, To Sir John Lade, on His Coming of Age, and A.E Housman’s, When I was One and Twenty, recollect memories when they once dealt with this adamant yet subtle time in their lives briskly unaware of the troublesome times that lied ahead. The writers’ use of provoking details, vivid imagery and a hint of irony, create a visually appealing description regarding the stubborn new adults, while both speakers recall and account their own experiences. The difference in perspectives of both of the poems that hold a lot of weight to the reader. Samuel Johnson’s poem resembles that of an elderly, more experienced man giving advice …show more content…

In doing so, the writing is given a feeling of importance due to the rise in the "..pomp and pleasure.." (line 3) as well as the "..pride and plenty.." (line 3) with the help of the alliteration present in the stanza. As the poem goes on, the money and its use increasingly grow questionable but are later rejected as it "..shows the spirit of an heir.." (line 12) in the making. Johnson even tries to add a bit of humor is worth by mentioning the names of several females as a way of enjoying his wealth. However, there seems to be an underlying meaning involving dark implications, which sound ironic. He implies this sense of darkness as a way of “fun” as he describes acres of land and houses being reduced down to “..only dirt..wet or dry..” (line 24). The meaning is misunderstood as the “...blady carouses” contradict the importance of the land with the final line, “...you can hang or drown at last..” (line 28). The reader comes to the realization after the last line of the stanza is that the writer was trying to warn him of the things that may possibly burden him later. The poets lack of respect in his tone along with the irony of his counsel get across to the reader in an indirect yet effective

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