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.
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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