Title: A Shropshire Lad
Author: A.E. Housman
Publisher: Penguin (Classics)
Genre: Poetry (English Journeys)
I know I just posted on this very same title yesterday, but I’ve been reading through it over my morning coffee on this cold, rainy day, and I couldn’t keep myself from sharing the best parts.
|A. E. Housman (1859–1936). A Shropshire Lad. 1896.|
|XLVIII. Be still, my soul, be still|
This melted me to my core. Melted me into a state of beautiful stillness, and I couldn’t keep that to myself. It’s so calming, so true, and so utterly gorgeous.
Not just for his poetry itself, Housman is inspiring because his work is so good and back in 1896 he was essentially self-published. Publishers turned this beautiful work down over and over again until finally he decided to publish the title at his own expense. Originally he wanted to call it The Poems of Terrence Hearsay, but was encouraged to change it. Sales lagged until about 1899 when the Second Boer War broke out and profits have surged for Housman’s work during every time of war since – especially World War I. Though this surprised the poet, it is not surprising to me… the entire work is about loss. There is much solace in reading about loss when you have lost or anticipate it soon.
Don’t be surprised if Housman is revisited often on this blog.