Sunday, June 28, 2009

Into my heart an air that kills

Into my heart an air that kills
From yon far country blows:
What are those blue remembered hills,
What spires, what farms are those?

That is the land of lost content,
I see it shining plain,
The happy highways where I went
And cannot come again.

A E Houseman - The Shropshire Lad


Anonymous said...

Hi Murph,

This poem is so sad - I wish I knew more about the context behind the content. It made me think of, "How Green was my Valley".

Hope you are content during this rainy's strange here in New England.

Anonymous said...

'Nicolas Roeg's 1971 film Walkabout concludes with lines from A Shropshire Lad, spoken by a narrator.' (Wikipedia)

The above film was my introduction to this sweet, sad snippet of prose, many years back.

The movie itself was wistful and poignant, and Housman's masterful, evocative lines made a beautiful epitaph to an excellent film. The poem enhanced Walkabout, and Walkabout lent weight to the poem.

Great stuff!

Viagra Online said...

Greetings Murph and readers!

This is a very nice poem! This is the first time in my life I hear about this wonderful piece of poem, which has catched my attention due to its mere simplicity

jerry turner said...

I first saw this poem at the end of "Walkabout" and it is graphic in its representation of my feelings of growing up in the sandhills of middle Georgia (USA).

It says it all about my rememberences of a life and a land that cannot be revisited due to the passing of time and the fallacy known as progress.

I paraphrased part of it: ....what are those sandy, remembered hills? What ponds, what woods are those?

In has been a bittersweet inspirational piece that helps me remember and appreciate what I had back then, which is the same feeling it gives to "Walkabout".

Thank you, Mr. Housman

Anonymous said...

I like the comments about this poem and will look at the film Walkabout'
The poem sounds lonely and sad - "an air that kills" can any one help me with that?
Very evokative Thankyou, I enjoyed it very much will copy it into my diary for future reference and thought

Anonymous said...

A.E. Houseman's wistful poem just tears your heart out. Anyone who has seen the "Walkabout" DVD knows how it hits you, at the end of the film. But nobody on this site has yet commented on it's use in ANOTHER film, which you can look up on Amazon or IMDB. It is "OF TIME AND THE CITY." The film is a poignant, painfully nostalgic ode the the city of Liverpool, and also to an era, the 50's and 60's. The use of this poem is EVEN MORE effective in THIS film than in "Walkabout" because the whole film is just drenched in sweet nostalgia. Ten Hankies!

Anonymous said...

To Pauline: I took "an air that kills" to be referring to nostalgia.
Of course, ten years from now we'll look back on this very day with nostalgia as well!
The poem is a gentle reminder to drink in each moment.

Kartikey Sehgal said...

Wistful poem. Discovered it in Walkabout. Good discussion.

Sam White said...

I have just watched Walkabout for the umpteenth time. The ending to me draws on the innocence of youth being lost by the inevitable onset of adulthood. The music of John Barry compliments the poem and the words of Shropshire Lad draw our memories back to simpler happier times. Wonderful!

Greg Gimour said...

Sam White ,I agree memories back to simpler happier times. I also had the feeling of opportunity missed ...not sure if anyone else had this emotion at the end.

Anonymous said...

I was 13 years old when I saw Walkabout, and the immense sadness the film depicts is just too tremendous. Children are so vulnerable and their lives are shaped or destroyed by the parents they are given. This poem is so touching. I truly believe the girl as an adult is remembering the outback. She's not remembering city life. She remembers the tenderness and love of a new friend and a different world. Her brother will have completely different memories.

None the less, I have carried this poem in my heart for many many years!