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The Loveliest of Trees, the Cherry Now

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Abigail Johnson

on 30 April 2015

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Transcript of The Loveliest of Trees, the Cherry Now

Loveliest of Trees, the Cherry Now
A.E. HOUSMAN
Loveliest of trees, the cherry now
Is hung with bloom along the bough
And stands about the woodland ride
Wearing white for Eastertide.

Now, of my threescore years and ten,
Twenty will not come again,
And take from seventy springs a score,
It only leaves me fifty more.

And since to look at things in bloom
Fifty springs are little room,
About the woodland I will go
To see the cherry hung with snow
More about the author

He attended Saint John's College, Oxford in 1877
He received first class honors in classical moderations.
In 1911 he became a professor of Latin at Trinity College, Cambridge.
Housman was gay and in love with his close friend Moses Jackson, whose feelings were not mutual. Some of his poetry deals with this theme of unrequited love.
Author
A.E. Housman
A.E. Housman was an English poet and scholar
He was born on March 26, 1859 and died on April 30, 1936 in England.
He wrote two volumes of poetry,
A Shropshire Lad
(1896) and
Last Poems
(1922).
"Loveliest of Trees, the Cherry Now" was a part of
A Shropshire Lad
, which contained 63 poems.

Explication Stanza Three
Loveliest of Trees, the Cherry Now
The cherry trees are in bloom. The speaker is observing them along a path in the woods. They are white, which, to him, seems reminiscent of Easter.
The speaker believes that he will only live to 70. He is 20 years old, so he realizes that of those 70 years, he only has 50 left.
He reflects that since 50 springs are not enough time to enjoy the cherry trees, he will come to observe the cherry trees in the winter as well.
Paraphrase
by Andrew Hagen, Sydney Mosher, and Abby Johnson
Explication Stanza One
Explication Stanza Two
In Stanza One of the poem, the speaker expresses his appreciation of the beautiful cherry trees. He sees them along a road through the woods, and they are white (which to him represents Easter). This seems to suggest that he has a religious background. This causes him to begin thinking about his own mortality.
In Stanza Two of the poem, the speaker reflects on the fact that he is 20 years old. He thinks he will only live to 70, leaving him 50 more years on earth to live. This means he will only experience 50 more springs, which he believes is not enough. The cherry trees and their beauty have caused him to further consider his mortality.
Attitude/Tone
The author views the trees in a positive way, and he views aging in a sort of manner-of-fact way, as an integral part of life. He doesn't seem to be upset about aging, but he does recognize that life will eventually end. For this reason, he wants to experience all he can of life.

Shift
Beginning of the third stanza- “and since to look at things in bloom [...]” The author's focus shifts from the beauty of the trees, and his mortality, to what he will do about his eventual death by saying he will look at the cherry trees.
In Stanza Three of the poem, the speaker starts off by saying that “50 springs” is all that he has left, and reflects on how there is little time to appreciate the beauty of the natural world. So he decides to look at the cherry trees in winter as well as spring, due to the fleeting nature of life.
Symbolism
Snow
: fleetingness of life, coldness of death
Blossoms
and
Spring
: New life, an awakening (he realizes life is fleeting)
Trees
: The trees are tall and strong, like youth, but can be cut down suddenly (death).
Forest
: Can be interpreted in one of two ways: solitude and peace - the comfort of reflecting by oneself; or unknown and frightening - a mysterious place associated with death.
Other Literary Devices
Alliteration
: “[...] seventy springs a score”, etc
Imagery
: the poem contains vivid imagery of the forest and the cherry trees
Formal diction
: Complex sentences, impersonal
Enjambment
: The entire poem contains sentences that run on to the next line of verse
Motif
: The trees, and the fleeting nature of life
P.O.V.
: A twenty year old person. Told in 1st person.

Themes
Life is fleeting
Beauty is everywhere, but life will pass you by, so enjoy it while you can
“Carpe diem”
Meter
The meter in the poem varies, but most of the lines are in iambic tetrameter. In this format, each line has four pairs of syllables, the first syllable of each pair unstressed and the second stressed, as in lines 2 and 3.

Rhyme Scheme
In each stanza the first line rhymes with the second, and the third line rhymes with the fourth. Two successive rhyming lines make up what is called a couplet, and an aabb rhyme scheme.
Conclusion
What we gained: insight on how valuable time is and that it is always ticking away and there is nothing we can do to stop it. Therefore, as humans, our goal needs to be to make the most of every moment and take chances and experience all that we can while we are able.
TPCASTT

T: Title
P: Paraphrase
C: Connotation
A: Attitude (Tone)
S: Shift
T: Theme
T: Title
Era: Naturalism

Naturalism was a literary period in which authors chose to focus on identifying the underlying causes for a person's actions or beliefs. Naturalists did not believe in free will, but in predetermined factors, such as hereditary and social status, determining one's life
We used TPCASTT to investigate the meaning of the poem
Full transcript