When I Was One and Twenty by A. E. Housman

Old Shrewsbruy Market in Shropshire County courtesy of Snowmanradio / Public Domain

“I, a stranger and afraid
In a world I never made.”
A.E. Housman, Last Poems



When I was one-and-twenty
I heard a wise man say,
“Give crowns and pounds and guineas
But not your heart away;
Give pearls away and rubies
But keep your fancy free.”
But I was one-and-twenty,
No use to talk to me.

When I was one-and-twenty
I heard him say again,
“The heart out of the bosom
Was never given in vain;
’Tis paid with sighs a plenty
And sold for endless rue.”
And I am two-and-twenty,
And oh, ’tis true, ’tis true.

– A.E. Housman

A. E. Housman by E. O. Hoppé from Google-hosted LIFE Photo Archive under the filename fd76be65c0baead9 / Public Domain

A. E. HOUSMAN (1859 – 1936) was an English classical scholar and poet, best known to the general public for his cycle of poems, A Shropshire Lad. When I Was One and Twenty is a part of that collection. Lyrical and almost epigrammatic in form, the poems wistfully evoke the dooms and disappointments of youth in the English countryside. Their beauty, simplicity and distinctive imagery appealed strongly to Edwardian taste, and to many early 20th-century English composers both before and after the First World War. Through their song-settings, the poems became closely associated with that era, and with Shropshire itself.

Housman was one of the foremost classicists of his age and has been ranked as one of the greatest scholars who ever lived. He established his reputation publishing as a private scholar and, on the strength and quality of his work, was appointed Professor of Latin at University College London and then at the University of Cambridge. His editions of Juvenal, Manilius and Lucan are still considered authoritative.


ABOUT

Recent in digital publications: 
* Four poemsI Am Not a Silent Poet
* From the Small Beginning, Entropy Magazine (Enclave, #Final Poems)(July 2019)
* Over His Morning Coffee, Front Porch Review (July 2019)
Upcoming in digital publications:
* The Damask Garden, In a Woman’s Voice (August 2019)

A busy though bed-bound poet, writer, former columnist and the former associate editor of a regional employment newspaper, my work has been featured widely in print and digital publications including: Levure littéraireRamingo’s Porch, Vita Brevis Literature, HerStry, Connotation Press, The Bar None Group, Salamander CoveI Am Not a Silent Poet, Meta/ Phor(e) /Play, Woven Tale PressThe Compass Rose and California Woman. I run The Poet by Day, a curated info hub for poets and writers. I founded The Bardo Group/Beguines, a virtual literary community and publisher of The BeZine of which I am the founding and managing editor. Among others, I’ve been featured on The MethoBlog, on the Plumb Tree’s Wednesday Poet’s Corner, and several times as Second Light Live featured poet.

Email me at thepoetbyday@gmail.com for permissions, reprint rights, or comissions.


“Every pair of eyes facing you has probably experienced something you could not endure.”  Lucille Clifton

Television, a poem by Roald Dahl

 

– photographed at B Street Books, San Mateo, CA

“I find television very educating. Every time somebody turns on the set, I go into the other room and read a book.”  Groucho Marx



The most important thing we’ve learned,
So far as children are concerned,
Is never, NEVER, NEVER let
Them near your television set —
Or better still, just don’t install
The idiotic thing at all.
In almost every house we’ve been,
We’ve watched them gaping at the screen.
They loll and slop and lounge about,
And stare until their eyes pop out.
(Last week in someone’s place we saw
A dozen eyeballs on the floor.)
They sit and stare and stare and sit
Until they’re hypnotised by it,
Until they’re absolutely drunk
With all that shocking ghastly junk.
Oh yes, we know it keeps them still,
They don’t climb out the window sill,
They never fight or kick or punch,
They leave you free to cook the lunch
And wash the dishes in the sink —
But did you ever stop to think,
To wonder just exactly what
This does to your beloved tot?
IT ROTS THE SENSE IN THE HEAD!
IT KILLS IMAGINATION DEAD!
IT CLOGS AND CLUTTERS UP THE MIND!
IT MAKES A CHILD SO DULL AND BLIND
HE CAN NO LONGER UNDERSTAND
A FANTASY, A FAIRYLAND!
HIS BRAIN BECOMES AS SOFT AS CHEESE!
HIS POWERS OF THINKING RUST AND FREEZE!
HE CANNOT THINK — HE ONLY SEES!
‘All right!’ you’ll cry. ‘All right!’ you’ll say,
‘But if we take the set away,
What shall we do to entertain
Our darling children? Please explain!’
We’ll answer this by asking you,
‘What used the darling ones to do?
‘How used they keep themselves contented
Before this monster was invented?’
Have you forgotten? Don’t you know?
We’ll say it very loud and slow:
THEY … USED … TO … READ! They’d READ and READ,
AND READ and READ, and then proceed
To READ some more. Great Scott! Gadzooks!
One half their lives was reading books!
The nursery shelves held books galore!
Books cluttered up the nursery floor!
And in the bedroom, by the bed,
More books were waiting to be read!
Such wondrous, fine, fantastic tales
Of dragons, gypsies, queens, and whales
And treasure isles, and distant shores
Where smugglers rowed with muffled oars,
And pirates wearing purple pants,
And sailing ships and elephants,
And cannibals crouching ’round the pot,
Stirring away at something hot.
(It smells so good, what can it be?
Good gracious, it’s Penelope.)
The younger ones had Beatrix Potter
With Mr. Tod, the dirty rotter,
And Squirrel Nutkin, Pigling Bland,
And Mrs. Tiggy-Winkle and-
Just How The Camel Got His Hump,
And How the Monkey Lost His Rump,
And Mr. Toad, and bless my soul,
There’s Mr. Rat and Mr. Mole-
Oh, books, what books they used to know,
Those children living long ago!
So please, oh please, we beg, we pray,
Go throw your TV set away,
And in its place you can install
A lovely bookshelf on the wall.
Then fill the shelves with lots of books,
Ignoring all the dirty looks,
The screams and yells, the bites and kicks,
And children hitting you with sticks-
Fear not, because we promise you
That, in about a week or two
Of having nothing else to do,
They’ll now begin to feel the need
Of having something to read.
And once they start — oh boy, oh boy!
You watch the slowly growing joy
That fills their hearts. They’ll grow so keen
They’ll wonder what they’d ever seen
In that ridiculous machine,
That nauseating, foul, unclean,
Repulsive television screen!
And later, each and every kid
Will love you more for what you did.

– Roald Dahl

Roald Dahl (1954) by Carl Van Vechten, U.S. Library of Congress Prints and Photographs division digital ID van.5a51872 / public domain

ROALD DAHL (1916 – 1990) was a British novelist, short story writer, poet, screenwriter, and fighter pilot. His books have sold more than 250 million copies worldwide. He rose to prominence as a writer in the 1940s with works for both children and adults. He became one of the world’s best-selling authors. He has been referred to as “one of the greatest storytellers for children of the 20th century.” His awards for contribution to literature include the 1983 World Fantasy Award for Life Achievement, and the British Book Awards’ Children’s Author of the Year in 1990. In 2008, The Times placed Dahl 16th on its list of “The 50 greatest British writers since 1945”.

Dahl’s short stories are known for their unexpected endings, and his children’s books for their unsentimental, macabre, often darkly comic mood, featuring villainous adult enemies of the child characters. His books champion the kindhearted, and feature an underlying warm sentiment. Dahl’s works for children include James and the Giant Peach, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Matilda, The Witches, Fantastic Mr Fox, The BFG, The Twits and George’s Marvellous Medicine. His adult works include Tales of the Unexpected.


ABOUT

Recent in digital publications: 
* Four poemsI Am Not a Silent Poet
* From the Small Beginning, Entropy Magazine (Enclave, #Final Poems)(July 2019)
Over His Morning Coffee, Front Porch Review (July 2019)
Upcoming in digital publications:
* The Damask Garden, In a Woman’s Voice (August 2019)

A busy though bed-bound poet, writer, former columnist and the former associate editor of a regional employment newspaper, my work has been featured widely in print and digital publications including: Levure littéraireRamingo’s Porch, Vita Brevis Literature, HerStry, Connotation Press, The Bar None Group, Salamander CoveI Am Not a Silent Poet, Meta/ Phor(e) /Play, Woven Tale PressThe Compass Rose and California Woman. I run The Poet by Day, a curated info hub for poets and writers. I founded The Bardo Group/Beguines, a virtual literary community and publisher of The BeZine of which I am the founding and managing editor. I’ve been featured on The MethoBlog, on the Plumb Tree’s Wednesday Poet’s Corner, and several times as Second Light Live featured poet.

Email me at thepoetbyday@gmail.com for permissions, reprint rights, or comissions.


“Every pair of eyes facing you has probably experienced something you could not endure.”  Lucille Clifton

2019 U.S. Poets in Parks Artist-in-Residence: Steven Bellin-Oka

Poet Steven Bellin-Oka © Kenichi Oka

“My own work deals with cultural memory and how traumatic national events such as the Civil War are remembered, misremembered, reimagined, and reinterpreted by Americans living in later historical periods. As William Faulkner puts it in his novel Absalom, Absalom, ‘maybe nothing ever happens once and is finished.’ In other words, the past is never just the past—it co-exists with the present and shapes it, like double exposure on a piece of film.” Steven Bellin-Oka



The National Parks Arts Foundation (NPAF), the Poetry Foundation, the National Parks Service, and the Gettysburg Foundation announce Steve Bellin-Oka as the 2019 Poets in Parks Artist-in-Residence. Poets in Parks is a partnership expressly designed and curated to raise the profile of poetry as a vibrant and modern public art. Bellin-Oka is the second Poets in Parks resident. He will spend one month in residency at Gettysburg National Military Park with a $1,000 stipend.

Entrance to the Gettysburg National Park courtesy of Sallicio under CC BY-SA 3.0 license

“The beauty and variety of United States national parks provide fertile ground for growing dialogue around poetry, shared history, and art as a public service,” said Stephen Young, program director at the Poetry Foundation. “We’re excited to have Mr. Bellin-Oka continue these conversations as the new Poets in Parks resident. The relationship between the past in present in his work is well-suited to Gettysburg, where history is both commemorated and alive.”

Gettysburg and Beyond

The National Park Service’s cultural mandate to recognize and foster a democratic and participatory dialogue through the arts has never been more important. The current national debate about the representation and memorial of Civil War history provides an opportunity for education and discussion.

Bellin-Oka’s poems written during the residency will expand those conversations. He will begin his month-long residency at Gettysburg National Military Park in September, writing, leading workshops, and sharing his poetry in a public reading on October 11, 2019. After his residency, he will travel to Washington, D.C. and to the Poetry Foundation in Chicago in May, 2020 on a poetry tour with the first Poets in Parks resident, Xochitl-Julisa Bermejoa, a first generation Chicana born and raised in San Gabriel, California

A Poet Connected to the Past

A native of Baltimore, Maryland, Bellin-Oka grew up surrounded by Civil War battlefields; he takes the not-so-ghostly presences of history seriously, and intends to explore them during his time at Gettysburg.

He plans to write poems that imagine Abraham Lincoln preparing to give The Gettysburg Address, the experiences of soldiers on both sides, and new works in response to Civil War poems of the battlefield.

Bellin-Oka earned his MFA from the University of Virginia and his PhD from the University of Southern Mississippi’s Center for Writers. He currently lives in Tulsa, Oklahoma, where he is a 2019 Tulsa Artists Fellow, awarded by the George Kaiser Family Foundation. His debut collection, Instructions for Seeing a Ghost, won the 2019 Vassar Miller Prize in Poetry, and will be published by the University of North Texas Press in 2020.

RELATED:

Poems online by 2019 Poets in Parks Artist-in-Residence, Steven Bellin-Oka:

Poems online by 2017 Poets in Parks Artist-in-Resience, Xochitl-Julisa Bermejoa: 

This post complied courtesy of The Poetry Foundation, The National Parks Foundation, Wikipedia, and Steven Bellin-Oka’s and Xochitl-Julisa Bermejoa’s websites.

*****

The Poetry Foundation, publisher of Poetry magazine, is an independent literary organization committed to a vigorous presence for poetry in our culture. It exists to discover and celebrate the best poetry and to place it before the largest possible audience. The Poetry Foundation seeks to be a leader in shaping a receptive climate for poetry by developing new audiences, creating new avenues for delivery, and encouraging new kinds of poetry through innovative literary prizes and programs.

You can follow The Poetry Foundation and Poetry on Facebook and Twitter.

*****

The National Parks Arts Foundation is a nonprofit organization offering artist-in-residence programs, museum in-loan programs, and workshops nationwide at a number of national parks. To apply to open programs, visit HERE. .

The Gettysburg Foundation is a non-profit philanthropic, educational organization operating in partnership with the National Park Service (NPS) to preserve Gettysburg National Military Park and the Eisenhower National Historic Site, and to educate the public about their significance.


ABOUT

Recent in digital publications: 
* Four poemsI Am Not a Silent Poet
* Remembering Mom, HerStry
* Three poemsLevure littéraire
Upcoming in digital publications:
* Over His Morning Coffee, Front Porch Review
* From the Small Beginning, Entropy Magazine (Enclave, #Final Poems)
* The Damask Rose Garden, In a Woman’s Voice

A mostly bed-bound poet, writer, former columnist and the former associate editor of a regional employment newspaper, my work has been featured widely in print and digital publications including: Ramingo’s Porch, Vita Brevis Literature, Connotation Press, The Bar None Group, Salamander Cove,I Am Not a Silent Poet, Meta/ Phor(e) /Play, The Compass Rose and California Woman. I run The Poet by Day, a curated info hub for poets and writers. I founded The Bardo Group/Beguines, a vitual literary community and publisher of The BeZine of which I am the founding and managing editor.


“Every pair of eyes facing you has probably experienced something you could not endure.”  Lucille Clifton



 

Simon Armitage, New Poet Laureate, U.K.

Simon Armitage (b. 1963) English poet, playwright, novelist, and DJ. Photo courtesy of Alexander Williamson  under CC BY – 2.0 License

“It’s never going to be very mainstream. One reason is that poetry requires concentration, both on the part of the writer and the reader. But it’s kind of unkillable, poetry. It’s our most ancient artform and I think it’s more relevant today than ever, because it’s one person saying what they really believe.”  Simon Armitage



Last month saw poet, playwright, novelist, and DJ Simon Armitage‘s appointment as Poet Laureate, U.K. succeeding Scots poet Carol Ann Duffy. The term of the appointment is ten years.
.
Productive and versital, Armitage’s poetry collections include Book of Matches (1993) and The Dead Sea Poems (1995). He has written two novels, Little Green Man (2001) and The White Stuff (2004), as well as All Points North (1998), a collection of essays on Northern England. He produced a dramatised version of Homer’s Odyssey (2006) and a collection of poetry entitled Tyrannosaurus Rex Versus The Corduroy Kid (2006), which was shortlisted for the T.S. Eliot Prize. Many of Armitage’s poems appear in the Assessment and Qualifications Alliance GCSE syllabus for English Literature in the United Kingdom. These include Homecoming, Extract from Out of the Blue, November, Kid, Hitcher, and a selection of poems from Book of Matches, most notably of these Mother any distance…. His work also appears on CCEA’s GCSE English Literature course.

 

Armitage work is characterised by a dry Yorkshire wit combined with “an accessible, realist style and critical seriousness.” His translation of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight (2007), was adopted for the ninth edition of The Norton Anthology of English Literature and he was the narrator of a 2010 BBC documentary about the poem and its use of landscape.

.
Armitage also writes for radio, television, film and stage. He is the author of five stage plays, including Mister Heracles, a version of EuripidesThe Madness of Heracles. The Last Days of Troy premiered at Shakespeare’s Globe in June 2014. He was commissioned in 1996 by the National Theatre in London to write Eclipse for the National Connections series, a play inspired by the real-life disappearance of a girl in Hebden Bridge, and set at the time of the 1999 solar eclipse in Cornwall.

.

Most recently Armitage wrote the libretto for an opera scored by Scottish composer Stuart MacRae, The Assassin Tree, based on a Greek myth recounted in The Golden Bough. The opera premiered at the 2006 Edinburgh International Festival, Scotland, before moving to the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, London. Saturday Night (Century Films, BBC2, 1996): he wrote and narrated a fifty-minute poetic commentary to a documentary about night-life in Leeds, directed by Brian Hill. In 2010, Armitage walked the 264-mile Pennine Way, walking south from Scotland to Derbyshire. Along the route he stopped to give poetry readings, often in exchange for donations of money, food or accommodation, despite the rejection of the free life seen in his 1993 poem Hitcher, and has written a book about his journey, called Walking Home.

.

He has received numerous awards for his poetry, including The Sunday Times Author of the Year, a Forward Prize, a Lannan Award, and an Ivor Novello Award for his song lyrics in the Channel 4 film Feltham Sings. Kid and Cloud Cuckoo Land were short-listed for the Whitbread poetry prize. The Dead Sea Poems was short-listed for the Whitbread, the Forward Poetry Prize and the T. S. Eliot Prize. The Universal Home Doctor was also short-listed for the T.S. Eliot. In 2000, he was the UK’s official Millennium Poet and went on to judge the 2005 Griffin Poetry Prize, the 2006 Man Booker Prize for Fiction and the 2010 Manchester Poetry Prize.

.

In 2004, Armitage was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the 2010 Birthday Honours. He is a vice president of the Poetry Society and a patron of the Arvon Foundation.

.

In 2007 Armitage  released an album of songs co-written with the musician Craig Smith, under the band name The Scaremongers.

.

For the Stanza Stones Trail, which runs through 47 miles (76 km) of the Pennine region, Armitage composed six new poems. With the help of local expert Tom Lonsdale and letter-carver Pip Hall, the poems were carved into stones at secluded sites. A book, containing the poems and the accounts of Lonsdale and Hall, was produced as a record of that journey and was published by Enitharmon Press.

.

In 2016 the arts program 14-18 NOW commissioned a series of poems by Simon Armitage as part of a five-year program of new artwork created specifically to mark the centenary of the First World War. The poems are a response to six aerial or panoramic photographs of battlefields from the archive of the Imperial War Museum in London. The poetry collection “Still” premiered at the Norfolk & Norwich Festival and has been published in partnership with Enitharmon Press.

“Prose fills a space, like a liquid poured in from the top, but poetry occupies it, arrays itself in formation, sets up camp and refuses to budge.” Simon Armitage, Walking Home: A Poet’s Journey

Simon Armitage Amazon Page U.K. HERE
Simon Armitage Amazon Page U.S. HERE
Schedule of upcoming events HERE
Armitage official website HERE

This post is courtesy of The Poetry Society, Wikipedia, Amazon, Armitage website, and my bookshelf
****
The Poetry Society is the UK’s national organisation for poety.  It was founded in 1906 to promote a “more general recognitions and appreciation of poetry.”  Since then, it has grown into one of Britain’s most dynamic arts organisations, representing British poetry both nationally and internatonally with innovative education and commission programs and a packed calendar of performances, readings and competitions, the Poetry Society champions poetry for all ages.  It publishes the leading U.K. poetry magazine, The Poetry Review. The Poetry Society also runs the National Poetry Competitions, the Foyle Young Poets of the Year Award and the youth performance poetry championship SLAMbassadors U.K.  The U.K. has been consistant in its support of poetry and poets through its Poet Laureate progam beginning in 1668 with John Dryden.

ABOUT

Recent in digital publications: 
* Four poemsI Am Not a Silent Poet
* Remembering Mom, HerStry
* Three poems, Levure littéraire
Upcoming in digital publications:
Over His Morning Coffee, Front Porch Review
From the Small Beginning, Entropy Magazine (Enclave, #Final Poems)

A homebound writer, poet, and former columnist and associate editor of a regional employment newspaper, my work has been featured widely in print and digital publications including: Ramingo’s Porch, Vita Brevis Literature, Connotation Press, The Bar None Group, Salamander Cove, I Am Not a Silent Poet, The Compass Rose and California Woman. I run The Poet by Day, a curated info hub for poets and writers and am the founding/managing editor of The BeZine.


“Every pair of eyes facing you has probably experienced something you could not endure.”  Lucille Clifton