Author’s Introduction | A.E Houseman
Alfred Edward Houseman in short A.E. Houseman(1859-1936) born in Worcestershire, England was a famous English classical scholar and poet. He was best known for his collection of poems A Shropshire Lad.
His poems are beautifully composed, simple, and have distinct imagery which suits Edwardian taste. A.E. Houseman was the greatest scholar ever lived in the world. He was appointed Professor of Latin at the University of London. He died at the age of 77.
Main Idea or Theme
Cherry stands for nature and beauty. The beauty of the cherry is charming and enchanting. The poet says that man’s life is too short to look up to the beauty of the cherry. Even a half-century is insufficient to enjoy its beauty fully.
Houseman is a worshipper of nature. The poem is about the captivating beauty of the cherry tree. Houseman reflects in this poem the same ideas which Keats has presented in his sonnet When I Have Fears.
In this poem, he says that life is very short to enjoy the beauty of the cherry tree.
Even fifty years will not be sufficient to enjoy its dazzling beauty. He advises us that we should not miss any opportunity of enjoying the bloom of the cherry tree in the woods in all climes.
Explanation of Poem
Loveliest of trees the cherry now
Is hung with bloom along the bough
And stands about the woodland ride
Wearing white for Easter tide.
These lines have been taken from The Loveliest of Trees, The Cherry Now by A.E. Houseman.
The poem is a beautiful description of nature. The cherry tree is a part of nature. The charming beauty of the cherry tree stands for nature that always grabs viewers’ attraction. The poet gets enthralled by the captivating beauty of the cherry.
Though the poet is enjoying every bloom of the cherry tree loaded with white flowers yet he mourns the loss of the early twenty years in which he could not admire the loveliest of trees.
In these lines, Houseman expresses his love for nature. Cherry is the most beautiful tree in his view and he is excited to see it in full bloom. The branches of this most fascinating tree are laden and loaded with buds, and flowers.
The cherry is fully dressed. It seems that the cherry has put on the white dress to celebrate and commemorate the most important Christian festival, Easter. Houseman is a poet of nature and has devotedly admired nature in these lines. He enjoys the sensuousness aspect of nature.
Now, of my three score years and ten
Twenty will never come again
And take from seventy Springs a score
It only leaves me fifty more.
These lines have been taken from the poem Loveliest of Trees, the Cherry Now by A.E.Houseman.
The same as above
In these lines, The poet laments that he has lost the early twenty years of his life.
In his opinion, twenty years of youth will never come back, because time once gone can never be regained. Thus the poet has expressed the view that life is short and temporary.
God has made this world very lovely and charming. He is thinking that he will have only fifty more springs to praise the beauty of the loveliest cherry tree because according to the Bible, man’s average age is seventy years. He feels sad over this
And since to look at things in bloom
Fifty Springs are little room,
About the woodland, I will go
To see the cherry hung with snow.
These lines have been taken from the poem Loveliest of Trees, The Cherry Now by A.E. Houseman.
The same as Above.
In these lines, the poet is worried about how to enjoy the beauty of nature in this short span of life. Even fifty springs can not satiate his romantic and aesthetic desires for cherry trees. So, he decides to go back to see the cherry tree hung with snow.
There is a small hint that how the poet escapes from the harsh realities of life. We find a rhyme scheme of bloom, room, and go, snow which gives a musical touch in the poem
Questions and Answers
Q 1: What is the time of the year mentioned in the first stanza?
Ans: The time mentioned in the first stanza of the poem is spring. At this time cherry trees are full of flowers and covered with snow.
Q 2: How old is the poet at this time?
Ans: The poet is twenty years old as he says that the expected age of a man is about seventy years and twenty of them will never come again.
Q 3: What does the poet say in the last stanza?
Ans: The poet is captivated by the beauty of the cherry trees. He wishes to have a longer life and enjoy the beauty of bloomed cherry trees.
Q 4: What is the theme of the poem?
Ans: The theme of the poem is that man should have time to look at the beauties of nature. He should go out to enjoy the beauty of nature.