Best known for A Shropshire Lad, the poems of AE Housman reflect the dooms and disappointments of youth in the English countryside. Popular throughout the Victorian and Edwardian periods running up to the Great War, this two stanza poem by Housman transitions from first romantic love to death and grief, followed by hope and new love. It was his simplicity of style that appealed, and his nostalgic nature settings.
Here is the first verse.
‘Along the field as we came by
A year ago, my love and I,
The aspen over stile and stone
Was talking to itself alone.
‘Oh, who are these that kiss and pass?
A country lover and his lass;
Two lovers looking to be wed;
And time shall put them both to bed,
But she shall lie with earth above,
And he beside another love.’
‘The Picador Book of Funeral Poems’ ed. by Don Paterson [UK: Picador]
Read these other excerpts, and perhaps find a new poet to love:-
‘Cloughton Wyke I’ by John Wedgwood Clarke
‘Elegy’ by Carol Ann Duffy
‘Sometimes and After’ by Hilda Doolittle
And if you’d like to tweet a link to THIS post, here’s my suggested tweet:
A #poem to read in the bath: ‘Along the field as we came by’ by AE Housman https://wp.me/p5gEM4-3dN via @SandraDanby