Analysis Of Is My Team Ploughing By A E Housman

Analysis of "Is My Team Ploughing" by A. E. Housman from the naijapoets.com perspective. According to wikipedia, "Alfred Edward Housman 26 March 1859 – 30 April 1936 was an English classical scholar and poet, best known to the general public for his cycle of poems A Shropshire Lad." The poem "Is My Team Ploughing" touched the following aspects of human lives which are friendship, career, leisure, and love. The poem through its questions and answers took the form of a dialogue between the dead man and his friend (the poem speak). Few among the ways a dialogue of this nature can happen are through imagination, vision or dream. The context of the poem didn't give the readers the exact clue of where the dialogue took place between the living friend and his dead friend.

The m has 8 interesting stanzas of 4 lines per stanza where the end rhymes between the second and the fourth lines of each stanza.

Okay, let's look at "Is My Team Ploughing" stanza by stanza:-

Stanza 1
"Is my team ploughing,
That I was used to drive
And hear the harness jingle
When I was man alive?"
The dead man asked his living friend whether the people used to work on the farm with when he was alive were still working; this aspect of the poem is about career.

Stanza 2
"Aye, the horses trample,
The harness jingle now;
No change though you lie under
The land you used to plaugh."
This is the reply to the stanza 1 question. The friend told the dead man that farm operations had not ceased because of his death; this part of the poem is about leisure.

Stanza 3
"Is football playing
Along the river shore,
"With lads to chase the leather,
Now I stand up no more?"
This showed that the dead friend was young and loved to play football before he died. He wanted to know if people young groups still play football along the river shore like they used to do when he was alive. This aspect is about leisure.

Stanza 4
"Aye, the ball is flying,
The lads play heart and soul;
The goal stands up, the keeper
Stands up to keep the goal."
The living friend's reply was an assertion that nothing had changed since his death.

Stanza 5
"Is my girl happy,
That I thought hard to leave,
And has she tired of weeping
As she lies down at eve?"
This stanza about love. The dead friend wanted to know whether his girlfriend still mourned him and couldn't fall in love with someone else because her love for him was so strong when he was alive.

Stanza 6
"Aye, she lies down lightly,
She lies not down to weep:
Your girl is well contented.
Be still, my lad, and sleep."
The friend replied his dead friend to stop worries because his girlfriend still lived her normal life.

Stanza 7
"Is my friend hearty,
Now I am thin and pine;
And he has found to sleep in
A better bed than mine?"
He requested to know how his living friend was fairing after his death; whether his living friend cherished his bas he slept in a thin grave

Stanza 8
"Yes, lad i lie easy,
I lie as lads would choose;
I cheer a dead man's sweetheart,
Never ask me whose."
This stanza reminds of the common Yoruba proverb that says that when a man dies because of a woman, thousands of women will trample his grave. The living friend replied his dead friend that his love life is very easy and cool; in fact, he was now dating a dead man's sweetheart and concluded by telling the dead friend not to ask him which of the dead man which implied that his dead friend's girlfriend is now his own girlfriend.

The major idea in this poem is that life goes on irrespective of whether someone dies or someone lives.

READ MORE POETIC ANALYSIS >>>

Samuel C. Enunwa aka samueldpoetry
(the Leo with wings flying)

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