Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Tuesday Poem: from A Shropshire Lad, by A E Housman

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 threescore 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.

- A E Housman (1859-1936)

A E Housman was an English poet best known for his cycle "A Shropshire Lad", published in 1896, from which this poem is taken. As Housman died in 1936 the poem is a few years out of copyright (70 years after the author's death, in England and America, although only fifty years in New Zealand). At this time of year it seems entirely appropriate to post one of my favourite springtime poems - although I suspect the photo is not, in fact, a cherry, but may be some other species of prunus, or even apple blossom.
We are often away in September and I seem to miss spring blossom often, so I was pleased this year to be back early enough in the month to enjoy both the blossom and the daffodils. And to remind myself that I almost certainly have fewer than fifty springs left to "look at things in bloom".
For more Tuesday Poems, visit the main hub site.


Helen Lowe said...

We have lots of daffodils out at present--a gay and valiant show 'amongst the ruins' ...

Orchid said...

What a wonderful image: cherry hung with snow.

Harvey Molloy said...

Wonderful poem. Thanks for reminding me of Housman.

Carmi said...

We never seem to have enough time to enjoy life. Yet somehow you find a way to maximize the time we've been given. Definitely an inspiration to me!

Sarah Salway said...

Nice. My father and my husband were both 'Shropshire Lads' so this has special meaning for me. Enjoy your spring too, we're hunkering down for winter here!