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Monday, May 14, 2012

A. E. Housman

"Even when poetry has a meaning, as it usually has, it may be inadvisable to draw it out . . . Perfect understanding will sometimes almost extinguish pleasure."

English Poet
1859 - 1936

Many poets and painters dislike it when they are asked to explain the meaning of their poems or paintings.  "If I have to explain it to you, then why did I bother creating it."  While poems and paintings may have meaning, we don't have to understand them perfectly to appreciate them.  Sometimes the pleasure is in the sounds or the colors.  And that is all we need.  Pleasure is more important than perfect understanding.  None of us fully understand the world, but we still find pleasure in it.

Here is a poem by A. E. Housman.

Loveliest of Trees
by A. E. Housman

Loveliests of trees, the cherry now
Is hung with bloom along the bough,
And stands about the woodland ride
Wearing white for Eastertide.

Now, of my threescore years and ten,
Twenty will not come again,
And take from seventy springs a score,
It only leaves me fifty more.

And since to look at things in bloom
Fifty springs are little room,
About the woodlands I will go
To see the cherry hung with snow.