a. e. housman—british (1859-1936)

Click here to load reader

Post on 23-Feb-2016




1 download

Embed Size (px)


A. E. Housman—British (1859-1936). - PowerPoint PPT Presentation


PowerPoint Presentation

A. E. HousmanBritish (1859-1936)

Experience has taught me, when I am shaving of a morning, to keep watch over my thoughts, because, if a line of poetry strays into my memory, my skin bristles so that the razor ceases to act. This particular symptom is accompanied by a shiver down the spine; there is another which consists in a constriction of the throat and a precipitation of water to the eyes; and there is a third which I can only describe by borrowing a phrase from one of Keats's last letters, where he says, speaking of Fanny Brawne, 'everything that reminds me of her goes through me like a spear.' The seat of this sensation is the pit of the stomach.A. E. Housman

ENGL 2030Summer 2013 | Lavery

3A.E. HousmanTo An Athlete Dying Young

The time you won your town the race We chaired you through the market-place; Man and boy stood cheering by, And home we brought you shoulder-high. To-day, the road all runners come,Shoulder-high we bring you home, And set you at your threshold down, Townsman of a stiller town. Smart lad, to slip betimes away From fields where glory does not stay,And early though the laurel grows It withers quicker than the rose.ENGL 2030Summer 2013 | Lavery

4To An Athlete Dying Young (continued)

Eyes the shady night has shut Cannot see the record cut, And silence sounds no worse than cheerAfter earth has stopped the ears:

Now you will not swell the rout Of lads that wore their honours out, Runners whom renown outran And the name died before the man, So set, before its echoes fade, The fleet foot on the sill of shade, And hold to the low lintel up The still-defended challenge-cup. And round that early-laurelled headWill flock to gaze the strengthless dead, And find unwithered on its curls The garland briefer than a girl's.ENGL 2030Summer 2013 | Lavery

5Terence, This is Stupid Stuff

TERENCE, this is stupid stuff:You eat your victuals fast enough;There cant be much amiss, tis clear,To see the rate you drink your beer.But oh, good Lord, the verse you make,It gives a chap the belly-ache.The cow, the old cow, she is dead;It sleeps well, the horned head:We poor lads, tis our turn nowTo hear such tunes as killed the cow.Pretty friendship tis to rhymeYour friends to death before their timeMoping melancholy mad:Come, pipe a tune to dance to, lad.

Terence, This is Stupid Stuff (continued)

Why, if tis dancing you would be,Theres brisker pipes than poetry.Say, for what were hop-yards meant,Or why was Burton built on Trent?Oh many a peer of England brewsLivelier liquor than the Muse,And malt does more than Milton canTo justify Gods ways to man.Ale, man, ales the stuff to drinkFor fellows whom it hurts to think:Look into the pewter potTo see the world as the worlds not.And faith, tis pleasant till tis past:The mischief is that twill not last.Oh I have been to Ludlow fairAnd left my necktie God knows where,And carried half way home, or near,Pints and quarts of Ludlow beer:Then the world seemed none so bad,And I myself a sterling lad;And down in lovely muck Ive lain,Happy till I woke again.Then I saw the morning sky:Heigho, the tale was all a lie;The world, it was the old world yet,I was I, my things were wet,And nothing now remained to doBut begin the game anew.

Terence, This is Stupid Stuff (continued)

Therefore, since the world has stillMuch good, but much less good than ill,And while the sun and moon endureLucks a chance, but troubles sure,Id face it as a wise man would,And train for ill and not for good.Tis true, the stuff I bring for saleIs not so brisk a brew as ale:Out of a stem that scored the handI wrung it in a weary land.But take it: if the smack is sour,The better for the embittered hour;It should do good to heart and headWhen your soul is in my souls stead;And I will friend you, if I may,In the dark and cloudy day.

hops (noun) : the ripe dried pistillate catkins of a perennial north-temperate zone twining vine (Humulus lupulus) of the hemp family used especially to impart a bitter flavor to malt liquors

There was a king reigned in the East:There, when kings will sit to feast,They get their fill before they thinkWith poisoned meat and poisoned drink.He gathered all that springs to birthFrom the many-venomed earth;First a little, thence to more,He sampled all her killing store;And easy, smiling, seasoned sound,Sate the king when healths went round.They put arsenic in his meatAnd stared aghast to watch him eat;They poured strychnine in his cupAnd shook to see him drink it up:They shook, they stared as whites their shirt:Them it was their poison hurt.I tell the tale that I heard told.Mithridates, he died old.A. E. Housman (1859-1936)Terence, This is Stupid Stuff

ENGL 2030Summer 2013 | Lavery

E. A. Robinson (1869-1935)Richard CoryWhenever Richard Cory went down town,We people on the pavement looked at him:He was a gentleman from sole to crown,Clean favored, and imperially slim.

And he was always quietly arrayed,And he was always human when he talked;But still he fluttered pulses when he said,'Good-morning,' and he glittered when he walked.

And he was rich - yes, richer than a king -And admirably schooled in every grace:In fine, we thought that he was everythingTo make us wish that we were in his place.

ENGL 2030Summer 2013 | LaveryE. A. RobinsonSo on we worked, and waited for the light,And went without the meat, and cursed the bread;And Richard Cory, one calm summer night,Went home and put a bullet through his head.

ENGL 2030Summer 2013 | LaveryE. A. RobinsonMiniver Cheevy

Miniver Cheevy, child of scorn,Grew lean while he assailed the seasons;He wept that he was ever born,And he had reasons.

Miniver loved the days of oldWhen swords were bright and steeds were prancing;The vision of a warrior boldWould set him dancing.

Miniver sighed for what was not,And dreamed, and rested from his labors;He dreamed of Thebes and Camelot,And Priams neighbors.

ENGL 2030Summer 2013 | LaveryE. A. RobinsonMiniver Cheevy (2)

Miniver mourned the ripe renownThat made so many a name so fragrant;He mourned Romance, now on the town,And Art, a vagrant.

Miniver loved the Medici,Albeit he had never seen one;He would have sinned incessantlyCould he have been one.

Miniver cursed the commonplaceAnd eyed a khaki suit with loathing;He missed the medival graceOf iron clothing.

Miniver scorned the gold he sought,But sore annoyed was he without it;Miniver thought, and thought, and thought,And thought about it.

ENGL 2030Summer 2013 | LaveryE. A. RobinsonMiniver Cheevy (3)

Miniver Cheevy, born too late,Scratched his head and kept on thinking;Miniver coughed, and called it fate,And kept on drinking.

ENGL 2030Summer 2013 | Lavery