Saturday, June 20, 2015

Thomas Hood (1799-1845)

I remember, I remember.

I remember, I remember.
   The house where I was born,
   The little window where the sun
   Came peeping in at morn;
   He never came a wink too soon,
   Nor bought too long a day;
   But now, I often wish the night
   Had borne my breath away.

   I remember, I remember
   The roses, red and white,
   The violets, and the lily-cups,
   Those flowers made of light!
   The lilacs where the robin built,
   And where my brother set
   The laburnum on his birthday,
   The tree is living yet!

   I remember, I remember.
   Where I was used to swing,
   And throught the air must rush as fresh
   To swallows on the wing;
   My spirit flew in feathers then
   That is so heavy now,
   And summer pools could hardly cool
   The fever on my brow.

   I remember, I remember
   The fir frees dark and high;
   I used to think their slender tops
   Were close against the sky;
   It was a childish ignorance,
   But now 'tis little joy
   To know I'm farther off from Heaven
   Than when I was a boy.

~ Thomas Hood (1799-1845)




Thomas Hood (1799-1845) is a shamefully overlooked 19th century literary great ... His obscurity is all the more surprising when we consider how immensely popular he was throughout the Victorian era. 

During his short lifetime Hood overcame debilitating illness and grinding poverty well enough to be considered a national treasure. He contributed humorous articles to popular magazines such as Athenaeum and Punch, and also single-handedly ran his own magazine The Comic Annual (1830-42). He wrote just one novel –– Tylney Hall (1834) –– but poetry was his real forte.

Hood’s output was created at great cost to his health. In his early days he was a talented engraver working alongside artists such as Thomas Rowlandson –– a man with whom he later often collaborated –– but was compelled to abandon this profession and seek outdoor occupation to recover his strength. It was a tough existence. Hood became an invalid on 1841, and was only saved from financial ruin by the intervention of Prime Minister Sir Robert Peel, who was a great fan of Hood’s works. When Hood eventually died, his family was granted a state pension, and the public continued to adore him. A memorial was later built by public subscription in Kensal Green cemetery. ...
http://www.wickedwilliam.com/thomas-hood-tylney-hall-multicultural-wanstead/



14 comments:

  1. The dates on the picture are an obvious error... ;p

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    1. Corrected. Thank you. Being nearly blind, as I am, does little to improve one's typing skills. Mine were never great to begin with, so you can imagine what a challenge it must be to produce a clean copy these days.

      Your critical attention is much appreciated. Most people wouldn't notice if I boldly stated, "Martha Washington's face appears on the one dollar bill." ;-}

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    2. Not yet at least, though perhaps she'll be Mr Hamilton's replacement?

      http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2015/06/17/woman-on-10-bill-alexander-hamilton-jack-lew/28882687/

      Can't have pictures of those dusty old Federalists circulating around to remind us of the Republic that we used to be.

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    3. I tried to call C-Span's Washington Journal this morning to suggest getting rid of Andrew Jackson and Abe Lincoln, instead of the brilliant, underrated Alexander Hamilton to whom we owe so much. Replacing those two mass murderers with women would tickle me pink, but alas! I couldn't get through –– almost nothing but blacks got to speak. I guess they get first dibs now.

      My first choice would be Abigail Adams for what should be obvious reasons. Martha W. has already been represented on our paper money –– in 1807, I believe. After Mrs. Adams, I thought perhaps, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Sojourner Truth, or Harriet Tubman might be good choices.

      What do YOU think, Vib? I agree they ought to leave Alexander H. right where he is.

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    4. I can't stand Hamilton. It's a shame that Burr didn't do him in much earlier. :p

      Bring back the Articles of Confederation!

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  2. I remember Pearl Harbor, and I remember 9-11
    I Remember when Al Gore said - I invented the internet...
    I Remember in the 1950's, there were more than 90 American companies that made TV sets. Today, the last American-owned television manufacturer, the Zenith Electronics Corporation, gave up its battle to survive and sold their controlling interest to the South Korean industrial giant LG.
    And I remember that my father fought in WWII and my mother served as a Nurse.
    I also remember when all of the Top automobiles were made in America..
    Obama really thinks he's a man of accomplishment when the truth is that without affirmative action he'd be on welfare.

    And I remember when FDR, a Democrat deceived the American people and provoked the Japanese into an act of aggression so as to lead American’s willingly into the second World War, and General Omar Bradley, General George Patton, and General Eisenhower all Republicas were responsible for winning the war,

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    1. Much of your statement is open question and could be debated. Also, it has no real relationship to the poem, to Thomas Hood and his time, or even to poetry in general. However, you at least tried to make it sound relevant, and I agree with much of what you said, so I'll let it stay. Besides, I like your avatar. ;-)

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    2. I know, but I thought it would make interesting conversation .

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  3. Maybe, Freethinke but I know sentimental doggerel when I read it.

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    1. I doubt very much, Ducky, if you've ever felt anything other than perpetual dissatisfaction, contempt and counterfeit indignation. You seem to see everything from a dry, detached, academic perspective. Whatever capacity you may have had for spontaneous affection and unabashed enthusiasm was crushed out of you by the sedulous application of Critical Theory long long ago. You strike me as a classic Red diaper baby in all respects save one. You re not Jewish.

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    2. You should have told him not to confuse Thomas Hood with Edgar Guest, FT. Dorothy Parker forever endeared herself to me when she wrote

      I'd rather flunk my Wassermann test
      Than listen to rhymes by Edgar Guest.

      ----------------------> Katharine Heartburn

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  4. Perhaps the older I get, the more I can identify with what Hood presents in this poem.

    I think that I read this poem in school -- perhaps in a McGuffey Reader. That series of readers often included poems like this.

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