What is the theme of the poem: "When I Was One and Twenty"?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

To me, the theme of this poem (which I first read when I was a senior in high school -- I'm surprised that it amused me back then given the theme) is that young people are not as smart as they think.

The narrator is given all kinds of reasons...

Unlock
This Answer Now

Start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this answer and thousands more. Enjoy eNotes ad-free and cancel anytime.

Start your 48-Hour Free Trial

To me, the theme of this poem (which I first read when I was a senior in high school -- I'm surprised that it amused me back then given the theme) is that young people are not as smart as they think.

The narrator is given all kinds of reasons for not falling in love at that age.  But he just ignores them all because he thinks he's too smart to need to listen to the advice.  But then, at the end of the poem after he's a whole year older, he knows how true the advice was.

So the theme is that as you grow older you get wiser and that's why I'm amused that I liked it when I was in high school.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team