Poetry Break: “Loveliest of Trees”

It’s been a while since we had a poetry break. Here’s one I first read when I was about twenty, the age of the speaker in the poem. This deceptively simple poem seems to come back to me every spring when I’m out walking and see the first buds appear.

We don’t have many cherry trees around here, but the landscape’s filled with pear trees that burst into white clouds of bloom right around Easter.

So here’s “Loveliest of Trees”  by A. E. Housman. If you do the math the way the speaker does,  you may want to look a little longer at the springtime’s beauty this year.

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

 

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