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Eng Hwk. Poetry Because I Liked You Better analysis. A.E Housman Bio. He was homosexual. Fell in love with a man named Moses Jackson, but was rejected as Jackson was hetrosexual Jackson got married, and Housman was not invited and didn’t even know about the wedding.

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Eng Hwk


Because I Liked You Better analysis

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A.E Housman Bio

  • He was homosexual.

  • Fell in love with a man named Moses Jackson, but was rejected as Jackson was hetrosexual

  • Jackson got married, and Housman was not invited and didn’t even know about the wedding.

  • After this they never spoke to each other.

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Themes Present

  • Unwanted Love

  • Loss

  • Grief

  • Promises

  • Moving on

  • Friendship

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  • First person. It seems to be a letter from the speaker to the ex- lover, because of the repetitive structure of the stanzas. It also looks like a letter because the speaker is talking to someone and is trying to proving a point, in this case about how the speaker kept his promise.

  • This seems to relate to the fact that Housman fell in love with his male friend but was rejected as the friend a ma and heterosexual.

  • The rhythm is sort-of repetitive and so gives a sense of no passion present conveying an idea of his loss and his sorrow. An example could be the same rhyming structure throughout the whole poem.

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  • The language used is formal, how they would use in a letter, and plain to justify the point the speaker is trying to make clear to the person the poem is to. There is not much similes or metaphors, which emphasizes how the speaker wants to get to the point straight away.

  • Later on the poem the language not only becomes plain, but also firm, and with the use of imagery of ice like “where clover whitens” and death like “dead man’s knoll” the emotion in the ending is minimized.

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  • Overall in the poem the images presented to the reader is very minimum and most of which are presented near the end of the poem.

  • Imageries like death and cold/ ice are used to emphasize how the speaker no longer feels for the person (even though we know he does due to the fact that he has written a whole poem based on the event) and his emotion are minimum. Images like “no tall flower” , to me shows an image of dying flowers, and at the same time the season winter. The meaning of the line adds up to me and shows that the reader is trying to compress his feelings with the use of death/ice imagery.

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  • The poem conveys a letter to the reader, the speaker telling the person (who the letter is to) that he has kept his promise, and if according to Housman’s personal life is to his friend Jackson about not meeting him again, and to say that he kept his promise about not seeing each other, even till the person’s death. An example that shows this could be “Good-bye, forget me”, or “We parted, stiff and dry”

  • The strong feeling of the speaker can also be seen through the fact that the speaker vividly remembers the conversation they had before they parted as seen in the second stanza, where he recalls it.

  • As the poem continues the language becomes more firm to minimize the feelings present in the tone, like “Halt by the headstone”.

  • Also images of death are present in conjunction with the firm language like “ headstone naming”. This is to show the reader that he no longer has feeling for the person and is trying to prove the statement that his promise was kept.

  • Even though the reader is trying not to express his love for the person and that he still cares about him, is conveyed by the fact that the speaker wrote the poem (or letter) in the first place.

  • We can also see that he cares through the fact that the speaker visits the person’s gravestone, and thus showing us that he probably regrets his promise, even though he stuck to it till the very end.

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