Tag: a.e. housman

A.E. Housman, Nos. X and XI from “More Poems”

hullabaloo

X

The weeping Pleiads wester,
  And the moon is under seas;
From bourn to bourn of midnight
  Far sighs the rainy breeze:

It sighs from a lost country
  To a land I have not known;
The weeping Pleiads wester,
  And I lie down alone.

XI

The rainy Pleiads wester,
  Orion plunges prone;
The stroke of midnight ceases,
  And I lie down alone.

The rainy Pleiads wester
  And seek beyond the sea
The head that I shall dream of,
  And ’twill not dream of me.

* * *

Ah, Mr. Housman, so formal, so sorrowful, so beautiful. Iambic trimeter, with every other line starting with the first having an added half-beat at the end. Leaves you hanging on, leaves you unfulfilled and wanting resolution. This is how meter really works for you if you let it.

Lines Written: Robert Graves, A.E. Housman

lines writtenpoetrywriting

The truth is that only gold ore can be turned into gold; only poetry into poems.

-Graves

A.E. Housman’s test of a true poem was simple and practical; does it make the hairs at one’s chin bristle if one repeats it silently while shaving?

-Graves

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.

-Housman

Perhaps not the most practical quotes, but beautifully enigmatic.