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Cherry tree by Houseman
Posted by: ctmp (---.dsl.pltn13.pacbell.net)
Date: May 16, 2004 04:41PM

Loveliest 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.

(The Loviest of Trees - Houseman)

Hi all,

I try to figure out the math here , was Houseman 70 / or 20 when he wrote
this ? I really appreciate any inputs .


Re: Cherry tree by Houseman
Posted by: lg (---.trlck.ca.charter.com)
Date: May 16, 2004 05:25PM

What is the date of publication? Here's a link to Houseman's biography:

[www.biography.com] />

Les


Re: Cherry tree by Houseman
Posted by: Linda (---.cache.pol.co.uk)
Date: May 16, 2004 07:01PM

He is saying that he has used up 20 of his 70 years, so only has 50 left to look at spring blossom. He's intending to go out and do a lot of looking.


Re: Cherry tree by Houseman
Posted by: Hugh Clary (---.denver-01rh15-16rt.co.dial-access.att.net)
Date: May 16, 2004 07:58PM

Now of my threescore years and ten,
Twenty will not come again,

I am twenty years old now. My expected lifespan is (3*20)+10 = 70 total.

And take from seventy springs a score,
It only leaves me fifty more.

Same math, from the other end. 70-20=50. He actually got 57 more, though.


Re: Cherry tree by Houseman
Posted by: Marian-NYC (---.nyc1.dsl.speakeasy.net)
Date: May 17, 2004 12:38PM


The speaker in the poem is 20 years old, but Housman wasn't necessarily 20 when he wrote it.

He was nearly forty when he wrote this:

When I was one-and-twenty


WHEN I was one-and-twenty
  I heard a wise man say,
‘Give crowns and pounds and guineas
  But not your heart away;

Give pearls away and rubies
  But keep your fancy free.’
But I was one-and-twenty,
  No use to talk to me.

When I was one-and-twenty
  I heard him say again,
‘The heart out of the bosom
  Was never given in vain;
’Tis paid with sighs a plenty
  And sold for endless rue.’
And I am two-and-twenty,
  And oh, ’tis true, ’tis true.


Re: Cherry tree by Houseman
Posted by: Johnny SansCulo (---.nycmny83.covad.net)
Date: May 17, 2004 01:52PM

When I was young and full of hope....
(the next line is rude)
But now that I am old and grey
(also rude)

When I was young without a care
(rude line)
But now that I am old and grey
(also rude)


Re: Cherry tree by Houseman
Posted by: Hugh Clary (---.phoenix-01rh15-16rt.az.dial-access.att.net)
Date: May 17, 2004 02:09PM

True, AEH born 1839. This one first published 1896, 57 years later.

Now, if he knew he would die at age seventy-seven, how would he have changed his rhymes?

Now of my threescore years and seven
Passed are nine with plus eleven

Or,

Now, of my four score years less three
Twenty have been spent by me.


Re: Cherry tree by Houseman
Posted by: Johnny SansCulo (---.nycmny83.covad.net)
Date: May 17, 2004 02:28PM

2.5 scores ain't enough
to take in all that cherry stuff
but If I've 2.85 scores
more time for wine and song and....

you get the idea


Re: Cherry tree by Houseman
Posted by: Poet8586 (207.27.152.---)
Date: May 18, 2004 04:18PM


Uffda Johnny

I'm Norwegian and I don't approve


Re: Cherry tree by Houseman
Posted by: Johnny SansCulo (---.nycmny83.covad.net)
Date: May 18, 2004 04:21PM

My apologies if I offended, Poet8586.

Just being my typical goofy self


Re: Cherry tree by Houseman
Posted by: Poet8586 (207.27.152.---)
Date: May 18, 2004 04:28PM



Oh, that's OK
I know the feeling about being goofy...
But being Norwegian I generally stick with "uffda"




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