The Dismal Science

(“Hard Times” by Charles Dickens,


A Short Analysis of A. E. Housman’s ‘How Clear, How Lovely Bright’

Housman is, as those of you who follow this blog will know, one of my favourite poets. As Interesting Literature points out, Colin Dexter’s final Inspector Morse novel is entitled “The Remorseful Day”. Indeed Morse quotes lines from the poem close to the end of the novel. I am, incidentally also a fan of Dexter’s Inspector Morse novels.

Interesting Literature

On Housman’s great ‘remorseful day’ poem

The poet and classical scholar A. E. Housman (1859-1936) is best-known for his 1896 volume A Shropshire Lad, one of only two volumes of poetry he published during his lifetime. But Housman wrote a number of other wonderful poems which he decided not to publish. ‘How Clear, How Lovely Bright’, written in the 1880s while Housman was living in London and working at the Patent Office after failing his degree in Classics at Oxford, was one of a number of poems which Housman preserved but didn’t publish. When he died in 1936, his brother Laurence selected the best of these poems and published them as More Poems.

How clear, how lovely bright,
How beautiful to sight
Those beams of morning play;
How heaven laughs out with glee
Where, like a bird set free,
Up from the eastern sea
Soars the delightful day.

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Comments Are Closed

Several days ago, I did something which I have never done before.
I closed comments on this post,

I welcome comments on and did not take the above action lightly. My reasons for closing comments are as follows:

1. The post had attracted many comments (the majority of which emanated from one individual. I had, I believe engaged with the commenter extensively and answered their comments. We disagreed (which is absolutely fine), however I felt that the conversation was going around in ever decreasing circles and, it being obvious that we where engaged in a dialogue of the deaf I determined to close the post to comments.
2. My blog is, overwhelmingly concerned with my poetry. In contrast, the above post pertains to politics. Now I read history and politics at University College Swansea and remain fascinated by political issues. However it became apparent to me that continuing to engage in dialogue was distracting me from my writing. I always try to answer comments fully and a detailed comment deserves a substantive response – but not at the expense of my writing.

Will I write about matters of controversy in the future or confine myself purely to writing poetry? I will not shy away from tackling controversial issues here, however the main purpose of this site is to share my work and (hopefully) in the course of so doing to sell a few books. I will not allow other topics (however interesting) to distract me from my goal of composing poetry.


There Was A Young Man Named Guy

There was a young man named Guy
Who said “all flesh must die”.
His girlfriend Holly
Was far from Jolly,
Which is not like you or I.

There was a young man named Guy
Who said “all flesh must die”.
His girlfriend Holly
Was far from Jolly
But she made a really good pie!

A Flower Found Within A Book

Shall I compose a poem about a blood red
Poppy that I discovered in a book,
And how I took
It dead
From within the grieving leaves?

Shall I say
How, yesterday
I placed that flower
In a carved
Box where it will languish, love starved
For countless hour?

The book I had when we met.
I forget
Why the flower (paper thin)
Was there with it’s sharp pin
Still intact.

I remember the fact
Of you and me
Buying part
Of a once living tree.
Each heart
Is dying or dead

Those Who Wear Their Conscience Upon Their Sleve

Those who wear their conscience upon their sleve
Are men and women as upright
As the medieval knight
Who would never deceive.
They see the world in black and white
And always do
What is just, true,
And right.

There are (they say)
No shades of gray,
And when the roof falls in
On their sanctimony and sin
I sigh
Shrug, and grin