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Loveliest Of Trees

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Alfred Edward Housman is, without doubt, my most cherished poet. He published only two books of poems, A Shropshire Lad and Last Poems and yet many of us know his beautiful, balanced, evocative verse without knowing anything about him.

Here his words that could apply to Syria or Afghanistan or Yemen or a child in Mosul whilst we are safe in our illusions:

They say my verse is sad: no wonder;

Its narrow measure spans

Tears of eternity, and sorrow,

Not mine, but man’s.

………….

This is for all ill-treated fellows

Unborn and unbegot,

For them to read when they are in trouble

And I am not.

. . and here on the beauty that surrounds us that we so often take for granted.

Loveliest of Trees

Loveliest of trees, the cherry now

Is hung with bloom along the bough,

And stands about the woodland ride

Wearing white for Eastertide.

 

Now, of my three score years and ten,

Twenty will not come again,

And take from seventy springs a score,

It only leaves me fifty more.

 

And since to look at things in bloom

Fifty springs are little room,

About the woodlands I will go

To see the cherry hung with snow.

Alan Fenn

14 thoughts on “Loveliest Of Trees

  1. Hi Alan. My road is lined with Blossom trees. I often think of Housman when I see them in the Spring. I think of people affected by war all the time, it seems I have been doing it for most of my seventy years. Will it ever end. Anyway, your pictures are beautiful. Best as always. Mary

  2. Hi Alan.I, too, love Houseman’s poetry. He writes sparely and simply and his words speak volumes. Yet again he made me stop and think and look around me this morning – thank you.

  3. Alan,

    Up this way, the wisteria hasn’t quite bloomed, but any day now . . . . It’s great to think that the beautiful spring spectacle will cheer us up a bit in the face of humanity’s “ill-treated fellows.”

  4. Another Housman fan here….
    No cherries here, but the roble is coming out all over the lowlands, a soft pink against the forest trees and the concrete of the city…a real delight.
    How we need beauty in this troubled world.

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