I’m not a poetry person. I don’t have volumes and volumes of poems in my bookshelf or anywhere else, I don’t read the stuff regularly and I don’t seek it out.

That said, when I like a poem – I like a poem. I commit it to memory and think about it frequently and love it forever and ever and ever. In terms of pure numbers, you could say A.E. Houseman is my favorite poet. He keeps things simple and real, and has a way with words that rings true with me. I’m no good at analyzations and such, I know, so I’ll just present and walk away – three short Houseman poems from “A Shropshire Lad” (the collection).

 
XL.
Into my heart an air that kills
  From yon far country blows:
What are those blue remembered hills,
  What spires, what farms are those?
 
That is the land of lost content,
  I see it shining plain,
The happy highways where I went
  And cannot come again.

 

LVII.
You smile upon your friend to-day,
  To-day his ills are over;
You hearken to the lover’s say,
  And happy is the lover.
 
‘Tis late to hearken, late to smile,
  But better late than never;
I shall have lived a little while
  Before I die for ever.

 

LIV.
With rue my heart is laden 
  For golden friends I had, 
For many a rose-lipt maiden 
  And many a lightfoot lad. 
 
By brooks too broad for leaping        
  The lightfoot boys are laid; 
The rose-lipt girls are sleeping 
  In fields where roses fade.

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