Terence, this is stupid stuff
by A.E. Housman
Terence, this is stupid stuff Theme of Drugs and Alcohol
The guys in "Terence, this is stupid stuff" spend a huge amount of time talking about beer. In fact, the longest stanza in the poem is basically a drinking story. That's not to say that this is just about boozing it up. In fact, our main speaker Terence mostly uses the idea of alcohol and being drunk in order to get his audience to think about some deep philosophical questions. Still, he does seem to enjoy bringing up beer…
Questions About Drugs and Alcohol
- Do you think this is an anti-alcohol poem? Does Terence disapprove of drinking? Why do you think so?
- Can temporary pleasure be a good thing, even if you regret it a little later (like fried Oreos)? I mean, you know you'll feel bad later… but they're just so good… (Note: stay away from fried Oreos. Trust us on this one.) How would each speaker answer this question?
- Do you think the comparison between getting drunk and reading poems makes sense? Or is that comparing apples and oranges?
- Does Terence make drinking sound like fun? Or does it sound kind of awful? What parts of the poem support your ideas?
Chew on This
Terence, the main speaker in this poem, tries to discourage us from drinking alcohol by emphasizing how temporary and empty the happy feeling of being drunk is. In other words: "Too much ha-ha, pretty soon boo-hoo."
The poem doesn't discourage drinking—after all Terence himself is drinking beer in the first stanza. This poem is really about the danger of trying to run away from your problems. So, cheers.