Ex-Basketball Player vs. to an Athelete Dying Young

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Research Paper In life, everybody has memories and days that they would like to go back and re- experience. “To an Athlete Dying Young” by A.E Housman and “Ex-Basketball Player” by John Updike are two poems that speak about those unforgettable moments, former athletes, and fame. In A.E Housman’s “To an Athlete Dying Young”, a young famous runner dies and in John Updike’s “Ex-Basketball Player”, a famous basketball plater retires after his glory day’s end. Both poems focus on what happens to the athletes after their fateful moments of fame. However, the runner in “To an Athlete Dying Young” dies at a young age even though his fame does not: while in “Ex-Basketball Player” the ex- player’s fame washes away in his growing of age. There are many similarities in these two poems. In “To an Athlete Dying Young” and “Ex-Basketball Player”, the men were famous whenever they were young because of sports. In an excerpt of, “To an Athlete Dying Young,” it states, “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” (Housman). This sufficiently explains how the boy in that poem was a local hero that was loved by his fans. This is also seen in “Ex-Basketball Player” whenever it said, “bucketed three hundred ninety points/a county record still!” (Updike) That must have been a might feat to accomplish. Both of the poems have a eulogy feeling to them. Of course, A.E Housman’s poem “To an Athlete Dying Young” has a cold, tomblike tone to it, because it is about a death of a young man. John Updike’s poem has a sorrowful mood to it also, even though a person does not actually pass away in it. In “Ex-Basketball Player,” it is as if the man died, because his fame from being an athlete ended. The poem may bring nostalgia, but it still has a melochany tone to it. Both “To

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