A. E. Housman Quotes

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A. E. Housman

A. E. Housman photographed by E. O. Hoppé
Born Alfred Edward Housman
26 March 1859 (1859-03-26)
Bromsgrove, Worcestershire, England
Died 30 April 1936 (1936-05-01) (aged 77)
Cambridge, England
Pen name A. E. Housman
Occupation Classicist and poet
Nationality British
Alma mater St John’s College, Oxford
Genre Lyric poetry

Malt does more than Milton can to justify God's ways to man.
Here dead lie we because we did not choose to live and shame the land from which we sprung. Life, to be sure, is nothing much to lose; but young men think it is, and we were young.
A. E. Housman
Shoulder the sky, my lad, and drink your ale.
In every American there is an air of incorrigible innocence, which seems to conceal a diabolical cunning.
A. E. Housman
The average man, if he meddles with criticism at all, is a conservative critic.
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.
A. E. Housman
Nature, not content with denying him the ability to think, has endowed him with the ability to write.
A. E. Housman
The house of delusions is cheap to build but drafty to live in.
If a line of poetry strays into my memory, my skin bristles so that the razor ceases to act.
A. E. Housman
I find Cambridge an asylum, in every sense of the word.
Experience has taught me, when I am shaving of a morning, to keep watch over my thoughts, because, if a line of poetry strays into my memory, my skin bristles so that the razor ceases to act.
A. E. Housman
Great literature should do some good to the reader: must quicken his perception though dull, and sharpen his discrimination though blunt, and mellow the rawness of his personal opinions.
A. E. Housman
The troubles of our proud and angry dust are from eternity, and shall not fail. Bear them we can, and if we can we must. Shoulder the sky, my lad, and drink your ale.
A. E. Housman
That is the land of lost content, I see it shining plain, the happy highways where I went and cannot come again.
A. E. Housman
And malt does more than Milton can to justify God's ways to man.
Who made the world I cannot tell; 'Tis made, and here am I in hell. My hand, though now my knuckles bleed, I never soiled with such a deed.
A. E. Housman
The laws of God, the laws of man he may keep that will and can; not I: let God and man decree laws for themselves and not for me.
A. E. Housman
Ale, man, ale's the stuff to drink for fellows whom it hurts to think.