The Boxer by Paul Simon: Essay Review

The Boxes was written way back in the year 1968, the poem was written by Paul Simon and Bruce Woodley. The poem is a modern rock ballad; a balled is meant to be sung and is usually lyrical in nature. This paper will shed more light on the theme and the other important literally elements of this poem.

1930 was a year to remember in America, the great depression left the country in a real turmoil. Americans had no jobs, they slept in hoover blankets, they had no money to spend and everything looked doom and gloom. The Boxer is a story of a person who has been trying hard to make ends meet but has been unable to do so. A financial crisis is of major importance, the poem is a narration and involves a lot of emotions, it has been well written and connects with the audience in an instant.

Simon and Garfunkel were the duos who were responsible for making this ballad really popular, they played it several times and the Americans heard it over and over again because it reflected the mood that the Americans were in during the great depression.

The rhythm of the poem is really important, The Boxer has repetition and the rhythm is irregular. The poem became incredibly popular because it portrays emotions like none other and human beings are emotional and this is an open secret.

During the financial crisis, the people were desperate for work but jobs were very difficult to find. The Boxer portrays the persona of the young man immaculately; he is desperate and needs to work in order to become financially stable.

The persona of The Boxer is ready to take up any kind of work so that the financial crunch is eased, this again goes to show how desperate people were at one point in America to find jobs and help their cause.

The young man is really determined, he never says dies attitude is for everyone to see and this again is really inspirational. It also teaches the readers that one must never give up come hell or high water.

The poets have connected very well with the readers, the readers start relating with the young boy in the poem and this goes to show the success of the poem in more ways than one.
Visualization is another great aspect of this ballad, one can see what is happening in the poem and very few poets can bring in this effect, hats off to the poets for doing this so effortlessly and most importantly successfully.

“All lies in jest; still a man hears what he wants to hear and disregards the rest” (The Boxer). This line goes to show the will of the young man, jest refers to passions and the enthusiasm of the young man. He is passionately looking for a job, he hears people discouraging him but he will just go on because he is passionate and wants a job really desperately.


The Boxer is lyrical in nature; it portrays an undying spirit of a young man who is desperate for a job.
“Just a poor boy, promises, lies, left my home, laying low, looking for, lay, lay, lay. asking and looking for a job, lonesome feeling, lay, lay, going home, going home, a fighter by his trade, still remains, lay lay lay.” (The Boxer)
The repetitive lines are conspicuous, repetition is done in order to reiterate something, the figure of speech here is alliteration. Alliteration refers to the repetition of certain syllables.
To conclude it is very fair to say that the emotional lyrics used in this poem struck a chord with the listeners and the readers and this is why it became incredibly successful.
It also gave hope to people who were experiencing a bad time in their lives, it is a poem worth remembering and reciting every once in a while.



The Boxer (2011). Paul Simon Live.

You Might Also Like

No Comments

Leave a Reply