Alfred Edward Housman

(26 March 1859 – 30 April 1936 / Worcestershire)

Alfred Edward Housman
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Alfred Edward Housman poems, quotations and biography on Alfred Edward Housman poet page. Read all poems of Alfred Edward Housman and infos about Alfred Edward Housman.

Usually known as A. E. Housman, was an English classical scholar and poet, best known to the general public for his cycle of poems A Shropshire Lad. Lyrical and almost epigrammatic in form, the poems were mostly written before 1900. Their wistful evocation of doomed youth in the English countryside, in spare language and distinctive imagery, appealed strongly to late Victorian and Edwardian taste, and to many early 20th century English composers (beginning with Arthur Somervell) both before and after the First World War. Through its song-setting the poetry became closely associated with that era, and with Shropshire itself.

Housman was counted one of the foremost classicists of ... more »

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Alfred Edward Housman Quotations

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  • “The heart from out the bosom
    Was never given in vain
    But bought with sighs aplenty
    And sold for endless rue
    And now I am two and twenty
    And oh tis true, tis tr...
    A.E. Housman
    7 person liked.
    4 person did not like.
  • “Stars, I have seen them fall,
    But when they drop and die
    No star is lost at all
    From all the star-sown sky.
    The toil of all that be
    Helps not the primal fault; A.E. Housman, A Shropshire Lad
    7 person liked.
    2 person did not like.
  • ''“Give me a land of boughs in leaf
    A land of trees that stand;
    Where trees are fallen there is grief;
    I love no leafless land.” ''
    A.E. Housman
    6 person liked.
    4 person did not like.
  • “The sum of things to be known is inexhaustible, and however long we read, we shall never come to the end of our story-book."

    (Introductory lecture as professor of Latin at University C...
    A.E. Housman, Selected Prose
    4 person liked.
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  • ''“All knots that lovers tie
    Are tied to sever.
    Here shall your sweetheart lie,
    Untrue for ever.” ''
    A.E. Housman, More Poems
    3 person liked.
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Comments about Alfred Edward Housman

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  • Ted G (6/24/2018 8:58:00 AM)

    Not a poetry related question, but possibly someone here can help me. I seem to remember reading a short bit by Housman about seeing tears in his father's eyes for the first time upon seeing the black bordered newspaper the day Queen Victoria died. Am I attributing my memory to the wrong author?

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  • Ian K (7/23/2017 12:43:00 PM)

    The master of melancholy! Housman was in fact a rather embittered but brilliant academic and a homosexual at a time when it was not only illegal but something that had for most to remain repressed. I suppose therefore that this informs all his work and is fairly obvious, in hindsight, in some of the poems at least.

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  • Jeanann Kerr (8/13/2013 8:19:00 PM)

    Does anyone know the title of Housman's poem cited in The Walkabout? It is a lovely poem but I can't find it in Bartlett's. Thanks. Ms. Kerr

    14 person liked.
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  • Sankaran Ayya (2/2/2012 7:31:00 AM)

    poetry should appeal to emotions rather than to the intellect
    Housman's golden words, poetry writers should appreciate and follow
    as cardinal principle
    --KAVIN CHARALAN

    23 person liked.
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  • Mark Adams (1/9/2012 6:05:00 PM)

    From a biography I read on Housman (I sorry I don't recall the title or author) , Housman was believed to have possibly been homosexual, and was suspected by some family members as being so. If this was truly the case, I believe it may put different light on the point of few of some of his poems.

    9 person liked.
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  • Maria Gough (9/26/2006 11:41:00 AM)

    Thank you for your daily poem!

    22 person liked.
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  • Richard Stivelman (6/17/2006 1:30:00 PM)

    Thanks for all the Housman. I believe, however, that you have a 'typo' in the poem 'Look Not In my Eyes'. I believe it shoud read '...for fear they (not 'thy') mirror true...'
    Best
    Dick Stivelman

    4 person liked.
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  • Artie Thayer (10/4/2003 6:16:00 AM)

    Thank you for making this poem available. In the movie, Out of Africa, Karen Blitzen reads from a book of poems. The title is partially obliterated, but I could see Hous... and assumed Houseman. I was able to find it on your site. What a fine poem. Thanks again. - artie

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Best Poem of Alfred Edward Housman

The Carpenter's Son

"Here the hangman stops his cart:
Now the best of friends must part.
Fare you well, for ill fare I:
Live, lads, and I will die.

"Oh, at home had I but stayed
'Prenticed to my father's trade,
Had I stuck to plane and adze,
I had not been lost, my lads.

"Then I might have built perhaps
Gallows-trees for other chaps,
Never dangled on my own,
Had I left but ill alone.

"Now, you see, they hang me high,
And the people passing by
Stop to shake their fists and curse;
So 'tis come from ill to worse.

"Here hang I, and right ...

Read the full of The Carpenter's Son