Wednesday, June 16, 2010

The Land of Lost Content

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. Housman

Quoted on the new Lewis mystery episode The Dead of Winter by the wonderful Laurence Fox (Hathaway)


Anonymous said...

Hello Murph,

This sweet poem made me feel that ache inside - a longing for days gone by.

On another note, here's a link to an article about Emily Dickinson - yes another book about her. I thought it might interest you.

Happy summer!

Anonymous said...

I feel it too
that chilling breeze
that on my neck doth blow
i wonder where
one finds again
what one did never know.

Christopher said...

This poem also quoted at the end of Nicholas Roeg's Walkabout.

Barbara said...

I've seen the place, figuritively and literally.

Bittersweet emotion...

Anonymous said...

This poem is truly beautiful, it made me feel really nostalgic, but I am not quite sure what for. Maybe those days long ago in England, I live in Spain now.

Lawrence said...

I left Washington, DC, my home of 57 years. I miss it, perhaps more than I ought. I found a moment's contentment there and I miss it. I'm in a lovely town, Charlottesville, VA, now and I'm not sure I have any contentment here. I surely must but I don't see it.

Anonymous said...

A truly nostalgic poem.
It can be made to fit any time or place which we greatly miss and would like to revisit.

Anonymous said...

as a person of great age this poem is to me about ,not a place ,but a period of time of a life all too soon coming to an end.

Bulbfish said...

I am also an exile in Spain and miss those 'blue remembered hills'...

Anonymous said...

tthanks peter hichens for quoting this poem in question time;

i really miss my john betjeman

charlie said...

I miss the gasworks of Croydon town
The filthy dust blown up Factory lane
In 1953 8 oclock we swung Bentley down
A young backward boy who died in vain.

Anonymous said...

and just quoted again in the rerun of LEWIS on ITV3 - a magic moment

Anonymous said...

I just watched "Inspector Lewis - Down Among the Fearful" on DVD and the poem "Land of Lost Content" was quoted. I read or heard the poem last week and I can't recall where. Was the comment posted on May 30 by Anonymous referencing this specific episode of "Lewis" or another episode? Thanks so much.

Anonymous said...

Well I just found my own answer when I re-read the poem at the top of the page where it states it was quoted in "Inspector Lewis - The Dead of Winter" episode which I did watch last week on DVD. I'm not hallucinating after

Anonymous said...

There are 2 definitions of "content". One is to hold something such as a receptacle, the other to be happy with what you have. Which do you feel the writer was referencing? I can sort of see either being appropriate.

Hipnitch said...

543What a pleasure to discover your site! ...and so many comments about this lovely poem. It was also used by one of my favourite authors, Rosemary Sutcliff, as the source for the title of her autobiography, "Blue Remembered Hills". If you . too, are a fan of her work, or if you'd like to get to know more about her, visit the official website, . It includes info about the movie made recently from one of her most famous books, "The Eagle of the Ninth", which stars Channing Tatum, Jamie Bell, and Donald Sutherland.

Anonymous said...

Completely lost the plot of Lewis as I was so mesmerised by Lawrence saying the poem. I had to go and look it up immediately. I have added it to my book of favourites.

Uinta said...

To me, this poem doesn't make me think of any actual place, but of sad or wistful memories instead... Good times, good moments that are lost, and can never come again...

rodders said...

Not so much about a place, more about a period in time in our lives that we remember only as happy days, but a period that we long for because we know we can never go back in time, and going back to the same place is often a disappointment because it will not be as we remember it. I came from a small village and have a photo of about 20 of us from the village in 1971 --I am now the only one still alive and hope to return one day to buy back the house I was born in, so that I can die there, back in my own land of lost content. .

Brian Walters said...

Quoted at the end of the Nicholas Roeg film 'Walkabout'

Terence said...

Terence Davies recites these heart wrenching words at the start of his newsreel look at the Liverpool of his youth - Of Time and the City.
I well remember the Land of Lost Content . . . . . . I was there fifty odd years ago, the as yet unspoiled English countryside.

Anonymous said...

I too had to look it up after watching the wonderful Hathaway quoting it in Lewis.An earlier comment suggested that Peter Hitchens quoted this on BBC Question Time.I may be wrong but I thought he quoted from 'The Road less travelled' which is another wonderful poem.

Eddie Spence said...

It was Summer
On the lake hung a golden haze
It was Summer
It was one of those endless days
so we talked
through a field of clover
and over a sheepspun hill
and it seemed it would last forever
and it did
came the evening
we swung on a garden gate
it was heaven
you were seven and I was eight
and we watched the stars suspended
walking home down an apple lane
me and rosie
a doll..
a daisychain..
on an evening that would never come again

Spike Milligan

Anonymous said...

It's all about Time's wing'ed chariot hurrying near, I suppose.....

Anonymous said...

This poem was quoted on Lewis but I recognised it from an episode of Frost when Jack is enjoying one of his curries and is in conversation with the Indian waiter - a strange place for it to be brought to mind but quite poignant. For me I think of it sometimes on a summer day as I walk home from work which takes me though a small part of a nature reserve. I think of it as a period of my life which will change, as life does, but will be remembered.