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AE Housman - When Summer’s End Is Nighing

Summer’s gone and deed’s are done. Which in my case meant a walk to the post office today, holding a heavy envelope (heavy with meaning, mostly) that contained a master thesis. It is now gone, as is the warm weather. I still feel pretty young and a little proud, but my ear also fondly listens for summer’s parting sighs. Thank you, AE Housman (1859-1936), born in Fockbury, which is close to Bromsgrove (none of these words are invented), for this little melancholy gem in iambic meter. Go there to find out more about this particular poem.

Housman must have been a serious man, devoted to his academic studies, who drove students and colleagues crazy by declaring them to be stupid, lazy, vain or all three, accusing them of pudding-brains and pumpkin-heads. Still, he is considered one of the most important classicists of his time. He wrote poems in secret at first, but is today most known for his cycle “A Shropshire Lad”, which grew in popularity in the beginning of the 20th century. He hadn’t been to the Shropshire region when he wrote the poems, he just considered it to be an ideal land - which must have struck a chord with the public, with many composers, and with a lot of parodists as well.