One and Twenty by A.E Housman

1089 Words5 Pages
One and Twenty “When I was one-and-twenty” by A.E. Housman, is a poem about one young man’s growth, from twenty-one to twenty two. He is given advice, which is, the greatest gift in which a person can give to another is that of your heart. However at the age of twenty-one, money is a much better gift to give. You save yourself heartache, and having a lack of money is not as hard to fix as having a broken heart. Housman shows this in his poem by using meter in his tone, and imagery in his words. “When I was one-and-twenty/I heard a wise man say,” A good opening for a poem, because it gets the reader ready for what is to come, and sets the tone and the rhyme. “Give crowns and pounds and guineas / but not your heart away;” is the third, and fourth lines; he is saying that a person ought to give money away instead of their heart. Money can be easily replaced; you go back to work, and make more. If you loose your heart, or it gets broken, the pain is deep, and what is strange, is you can‘t pin-point it’s location. All you know, is that it hurts, and you want it to stop. The advise of the wise man is that money should be given as opposed to your heart, as far as love is concerned anyways. The money of nineteenth century England is crowns, pounds, guineas, and shillings. “crowns - a silver coin used in Great Britain worth about five shillings. A shilling is worth about 1/20 of a pound,” according to ( that is translates into a nickel, and then a quarter. “Guineas - A gold coin used in England from 1663 - 1813 worth one pound, and one shilling.” ( So basically what the “wise man” is saying in the first line of advise is that, a man can give away any amount of money he wishes, as long as he does not give away his heart. This might be because men at this age are not yet ready mentally for what giving your heart away entails. Or maybe
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