Friday, April 16, 2021

Spring's Here

                             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, A Shropshire Lad, 1896

 

10 comments:

Sixty Grit said...

I like it. That's a nice poem. I misunderstood it at first, thinking that he wrote it at age 70 and that he only had another 50 years to go, but upon rereading it I figured out my error.

Also, that sumbitch lived to be three score and seventeen - sheeit - just rubbin' it in, right Shropshire boy?

Good thing he didn't name those poems after where he was born - Fockbury lad just doesn't have the same ring to it. Plus, that would be Juvenal.

Mumpsimus said...

Considering his personal life, "A Fockbury Lad" might have been right on the mark.

Sixty Grit said...

LOL - you got me. I wasn't going to go there, you went there, because, after all, he went there! Made me laugh, out loud.

MamaM said...

A long-time favorite, Mumpsimus, and a complement to Sixty's Impressive Cascade of Flars.

Things are blooming much more cautiously up here. This week, however, I noticed the white boats showing up in their slips on the lake again. Apparently, the local marinas are in high gear (ahead of the usual May surge) trying to get them out of storage and into the water before any more shut-downs can be implemented!!

Now that I'm in the single-digit approach to all those years Housman was hoping for, I'm truly grateful to be seeing and enjoying the arrival of one more spring! And looking forward to this year's surge of chartreuse green!

Something similar I read this earlier in the week, while sitting outdoors in the sun:

Red Oak

Dear oak,
your twig tips swell and soon
will give us leaves, sweet green.
You'll sprout then wave them patiently,
and drop them in the fall,
as you have, I'm guessing by your girth,
a couple hundred times or more.
You never tire of this,
never tire of losing and greening,
never tire of being an oak.
The day will come when you drop them
and lift them up no more,
but being an oak, that will likely be
long after I have done the same.
Meanwhile I pray
not that you endure, nor I,
but that as long as I do
I never tire of this.


Steve Garnaas-Holmes

MamaM said...

Oh my, not to be disrespectful of the goodness shared, but we're back to the mixed genius view, with the wiki delivering this gem:

In his private life Housman enjoyed country walks, gastronomy, air travel and making frequent visits to France, where he read "books which were banned in Britain as pornographic". But he struck A. C. Benson, a fellow don, as being "descended from a long line of maiden aunts".

As I was writing the first comment, sonM, who was playing Stephen Foster's Hard Times Come Again No More, on the guitar asked me if I knew when it was written. And when I looked it up (1854) I started reading about his death at age 35 to find multiple threads tied up in that story as well.

Sixty Grit said...

Stephen Foster was the first great American song writer and we grew up singing his songs. Of course those songs are banned these days, are most great American things and history, but those of us who know will never forget.

I have a friend whose favorite season is spring, just as the new leaves burst out. She loves it. She also likes irises, and I have been sending her pictures of the ones in my yard. A neighbor down the street has a garden full of irises of all colors and I hope my friend is able to get out to see them. She is more paranoid than most WRT the virus, but with any luck she can hop in her car and at least do a drive by iris peeping.

MamaM said...

Stephen Foster was the first great American song writer and we grew up singing his songs. Of course those songs are banned these days, are most great American things and history, but those of us who know will never forget.

Yes to that. Interesting to me is the way the 30 year old playing that tune on his guitar found and learned that song. On his own, because it privately, in some way spoke to something inside, in word and sound. No matter how much power group think and cancel culture seem to hold hold, it's hard to keep eyes and ears from seeing and hearing, and hearts, souls and minds from forming an inner response. There's hope in that.

Thanks for the post, picture and opportunity for a variety of side thoughts, Mumpsimus,

Sixty Grit said...

As the old tv show quote goes "They can't stop the signal, Mal".

Mumpsimus said...

It would take a really annoying pedant to point out that that quote's from the movie, not the tv show; I'm glad I'm not one.

Sixty Grit said...

Thanks - I watched them both, they kind of ran together, then the guy turned out to be a leftist and I lost interest. But you still can't stop the signal, whether it is a Mal signal or not.