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AE Housman was a human figure whose life and career were often moving as well as extraordinary The melancholy and pessimism in Housmans poems capture the attention of readers and is perhaps the reason why his poetry is still read and studied today Alfred Edward Housman a classical scholar and poet was born in Fockbury in the country of Worcestershire England on March 26 1859 His poems are variations on the themes of the regrets and frustrations of young men especially soldiers Encyclopedia C-D Rom Most of Housmans poems were written in the 1890s when he was under great psychological stress which made the tone of his poems characteristically mournful and the mood dispirited Magill 1411 In the world of Housmans poetry youth fades to dust lovers are unfaithful and death is the tranquil end of everything Magill 1412 Throughout his life Housman faced many hardships He was frail often sickly very devoted to his mother and alienated from his father Magill 922 The loss of his mother at age 12 shattered his childhood and left him with tremendous feelings of loneliness from which he never fully recovered His father began to drink as a result of his mothers death and began a long slip into poverty When Housman went to college he had a deep and lasting friendship with Moses Jackson Although Jackson and Housman were from similar backgrounds Jackson was everything that Housman was not Jackson and Housman became not only fast friends but also roommates for most of their college career Magill 924 Housman soon developed a passionate attachment and fallen in love with him When the relationship did not work out Housman plunged into a suicidal gloom His remark that I have seldom written poetry unless I was rather out of health seems to support the opinion that emotional trauma greatly influenced his work As a result of Housmans poor childhood and misfortunes he devoted most of his life
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