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Analysis


Symbols, Imagery, Wordplay

Welcome to the land of symbols, imagery, and wordplay. Before you travel any further, please know that there may be some thorny academic terminology ahead. Never fear, Shmoop is here. Check out our...

Form and Meter

Divided into two eight-line stanzas, this poem follows traditional ballad rhyme schemes: the stanzas each break neatly in half, with the second and fourth lines of each group rhyming.Wait…how...

Speaker

When it comes right down to it, our speaker has the emotional maturity of a fifth grader. Sure, being twenty-one nowadays means you're pretty much an adult. You can drive, you can vote, and now the...

Setting

Frankly, we're not all that sure where this poem is set – and that's largely because our speaker doesn't go about the business of writing love poems in any traditional way. We don't get any c...

Sound Check

If they made nursery rhymes for high school-ers, we're pretty sure that they would sound a lot like this. With the oh-so-catchy rhyme scheme and cleverly repeated phrases, this poem is actually pre...

What's Up With the Title?

Well, we hate to point it out, but the "title" of this poem is actually the first line of the poem. Chances are that the poem, which appeared in a collection of poems by Housman entitled "A Shropsh...

Calling Card

Housman may actually mourn the loss of love – but he never lets his speakers tackle problems like love or loss or sadness with anything other than a light, sardonic (cynical) wit. He may come...

Tough-O-Meter

Welcome to the cake walk of poems. Come to think of it, we're not really sure why cake walks are easy. In fact, we're not even really sure what cake walks are. But they sound fairly pleasant. And t...

Brain Snacks

Sex Rating

The speaker's discussion of the "heart" never gets past first base. Heck, we're not sure he even gets off the plate in the first place!
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