~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ I O 93 93/93 I O ~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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Location: LaGrange, Kentucky, United States

The opinions and interests of a husband, analyst and Iraq war veteran.


Friday, March 16, 2007

Magic trick

My opinion of A.E Housman has over the years slowly evolved. First into a kind of grudging respect, and finally into full-blown admiration. Ten years ago I had nothing but absolute scorn for his Dr. Seuss-like rhymes. But in much the same way my parents knew everything when I was ten, lost all that knowledge at twenty, and magically gained it all back again on my thirtieth birthday, so have I come to love A.E. Housman. Especially the war poems:

From "Last Poems"

As I gird on for fighting
My sword upon my thigh,
I think on old ill fortunes
Of better men than I.

Think I, the round world over,
What golden lads are low
With hurts not mine to mourn for
And shames I shall not know.

What evil luck soever
For me remains in store,
'Tis sure much finer fellows
Have fared much worse before.

So here are things to think on
That ought to make me brave,
As I strap on for fighting
My sword that will not save.

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