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Alfred Edward Housman a classical scholar and poet was born inFockbury in the county of Worcestershire England on March 26 1859 Hispoems are variations on the themes of mortality and the miseries of humancondition Magill 1411 Most of Housmans poems were written in the 1890swhen he was under great psychological stress which made the tone of hispoems characteristically mournful and the mood dispirited Magill 1411 In theworld of Housmans poetry youth fades to dust lovers are unfaithful and deathis the tranquil end of everything Magill 1412 Throughout his life Housman faced many hardships The loss of hismother at age 12 shattered his childhood and left him with tremendous feelingsof loneliness from which he never fully recovered His father began to drink asa result of his mothers death and began a long slide into poverty WhenHousman went to college he had a deep and lasting friendship with MosesJackson He had developed a passionate attachment and fallen in love withhim When the relationship did not work out Housman plunged into a suicidalgloom which was to persist at intervals for the rest of his life His declarationthat I have seldom written poetry unless I was rather out of health seems tosupport the opinion that emotional trauma greatly influenced his work The onlyway to relieve himself from this state of melancholy was by writing Magill 1409As a result of Housmans poor childhood and misfortunes he devotedmost of his life to erudition and poetry He was educated at Bromsgrove schooland won a scholarship to Oxford University where he studied classical literatureand philosophy After graduating from Oxford he became a professor of Latinfirst at University College and later at Cambridge University He was aknowledgeable and scholarly individual who was fluent in five languages Magill1405 Over a period of fifty years Housman gave many enlightening lectures wrote numerous critical papers and reviews and three volumes of poetryIn all of his poetry Housman continually returns to certain preferredthemes The most common theme
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