“The Heart out of the bosom,
was never given in vain”
I experienced a “momentary stay against confusion” when we first read A. E. Housman’s poem “When I Was One- and-Twenty”. At first reading, i didnt pay much attention to this poem, in particular the lines that i pointed out above. In these lines, Housman is basically stating that ironically when you give your heart away- that it, to love someone or something- you often sometimes get “sighs” and “rue”, which is not something that you really want. As we discussed in class, this poem is a peom about life during youth and the innocence that youth brings. I’ve come to really enjoy this poem after reading it several times. I agree with Housman to extent when he says that we should “not fall in love, but keep your desires free”. When we’re young (which is now), we have this mindset of just wanting to have fun and “find ourselves” and along the way we “give our hearts away” and get hurt. I understand where Housman is coming from because he has lived life and experience love and “rue”, so this poem is sort of a bit of advice for the youth. I now realize the message that Housman was trying to convey. But, i think people are going to do what they like despite the advice of others because as they say -”experience is the best teacher”.