Terence, This Is Stupid Stuff
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Terence, this is stupid stuff
A.E. Housman’s “Terence, this is stupid stuff” is a poem that starts out as a friend of Terence talking to him, but it then shifts to Terence talking to his friends. Then shifts from a humorous tone to a more serious tone. It also shifts in setting, time, place, and idea. This poem demonstrates figurative language which is “language employing figures of speech; language that cannot be taken literally or only literally” (1488). This poem also has several different poetic devices, which is a device that contributes to content and poetic structure that does not involve meaning in term of language. This poem in certain lines is very hard to follow without knowing the background.
The first verse of this poem Terence friend is speaking to him about how sad all his poems are; all of them are about death. His friend is telling him he needs to lighten up and get drunk. His friend says, “It gives a chap the belly-ache. . . / To hear such tunes as killed the cow” (6,10). Terence’s friend is referring to Terence’s poetry. He is also referring to his poetry that it killed the cow because it was so sad. These are both an example of a hyperbole (overstatement) that is “a figure of speech in which exaggeration is used in the service of truth” (1491). All the verses in this poem have a rhythm, which is “any wavelike recurrence of motion or sound” (1493). The rhythm is eight beats per line.
The second verse in the poem Terence is talking to his friends about getting drunk and having a good time. He also says that it’s great to get drunk and forget all your problems, but they are still there the next morning when you wake up. Terence uses humor in this verse to get across his point. Terence says, “And malt does more than Milton can / To justify God’s ways to man” (21-22). When Terence uses malt he is using it as a synecdoche, which is “a figure of speech in which ...
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