A Short Analysis of A. E. Housman’s ‘When the bells justle in the tower’

Interesting Literature

A reading of a haunting short poem

‘When the bells justle in the tower’ is a short poem comprising a single quatrain, written by the poet A. E. Housman (1859-1936) although not published until after his death, when it appeared in Additional Poems in 1939. W. H. Auden admired the poem. It was described by Housman editor and critic Christopher Ricks as the best thing Housman ever wrote.

When the bells justle in the tower
The hollow night amid,
Then on my tongue the taste is sour
Of all I ever did.

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