Friday, September 10, 2010

Poetry Friday: Homespun collars, homespun hearts

Last week I found on my shelf an attractive copy of A. E. Housman's More Poems, published in 1936. I see on Amazon that I could buy a copy of this book for anything from one cent to $52.34, but my copy cost me $2 in some place I have now forgotten.

These poems are mostly short and mostly sad, and many of them are about unrequited love. They are old-fashioned, and I like them. My favorite is the same one that I liked last time I read this book. I think it is a lovely image of homesickness, and of being in a place where you feel that everyone else is a bit more sophisticated than you are or will ever be. It has no title, just a number.


From the wash the laundress sends
My collars home with ravelled ends;
I must fit, now these are frayed,
My neck with new ones London-made.

Homespun collars, homespun hearts,
Wear to rags in foreign parts.
Mine's at least as good as done,
And I must get a London one.

Can't you imagine the young man examining his frayed collars in his lonely room? I'm not sure his London heart will be an improvement over his homespun one.

Here's today's Poetry Friday roundup.


laurasalas said...


Homespun collars, homespun hearts,
Wear to rags in foreign parts.

Lovely. Thanks for sharing this!

Mary Lee said...

It's hard to give up the thing we love to tatters...