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Analysis of A.E. Housman’s Terence, This is Stupid Stuff

In this fantastic poem, the author talks about his various themes in his poems and offers explanation for the melancholy tone of his poetry. “Terence, This is Stupid Stuff” is presented as a conversation between Terence, the narrator, and his friend, who doesn’t like that Terence writes poetry that is somber and thought-provoking rather than uplifting and celebratory.

This poem begins with a friend of Terence talking to him, but then it moves to Terence talking to his friends. Terrence’s friend (maybe slightly drunk) says that he is driving his friends insane with his serious poetry and that they would prefer something happier and more positive. He makes fun of how serious and sad his poems are, and says they give him "the belly-ache." Then it moves from a funny tone to a more serious tone.

However, Terrence believes that his poetry shouldn’t entertain anyone; it is needed to strengthen and instruct. Terrence thinks that spending time drinking and dancing is beautiful but it won’t answer for life’s many problems. He reminds him, though, that even if the world looks better when you're drunk, the feeling never lasts. Terence claims to know that from personal experience. Therefore, Terence explains, because life is full of bad and unpleasant things, people should prepare themselves correctly. His poetry makes everybody ready to face the dark and cloudy day.

Finally, Terrence finishes his answer to his friend by telling the ancient tale of King Mithridates, who took small amounts of arsenic and strychnine and developed an immunity to them. So when his enemies wanted to kill him the poison didn’t work. Terrence just describes his own world and his view on the things happening in this world. He tries to explain why his poetry is so dark. He shows to his drunk interlocutor that by concentrating on its tragedies, and by doing so, one learns to live in the face of adversity.

It makes us think a lot to understand the main idea of the author. This is a very interesting poem that isn’t always understood correctly for the first time of reading it. In addition, this poem is quite difficult to follow without knowing the background.

“Terence, This is Stupid stuff” is quite an interesting poem that tries to tell a reader that entertainment isn’t the main goal of poetry. It also should educate and get people ready to face dark days and not to be afraid of them.

In this fantastic poem, the author talks about his various themes in his poems and offers explanation for the melancholy tone of his poetry. “Terence, This is Stupid Stuff” is presented as a conversation between Terence, the narrator, and his friend, who doesn’t like that Terence writes poetry that is somber and thought-provoking rather than uplifting and celebratory.

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100005043
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CREATED ON
12 June 2017
COMPLETED ON
15 June 2017
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