Order of the Rising Sun (Japanese 旭日章),was an English poet, very popular in his lifetime on the strength of a small number of anthology pieces, such as The Bull. He was one of the more 'pastoral' of the Georgian poets. In 1954, he was awarded the Queen's Gold Medal for Poetry.
He seems to have covered his tracks in relation to much of his life; he was averse to publicity. This has led to claims that he was reticent. Far from that being the case, his friend Walter De La Mare found him an almost exhausting talker; but he made a point of personal privacy. He kept up a copious correspondence with other poets and literary figures, including those he met in his time... more »
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Ralph Hodgson Poems
See an old unhappy bull, Sick in soul and body both, Slouching in the undergrowth Of the forest beautiful, Banished from the herd he led,
The Gypsy Girl
'Come, try your skill, kind gentlemen, A penny for three tries!' Some threw and lost, some threw and won A ten-a-penny prize.
The Bells Of Heaven
'Twould ring the bells of Heaven The wildest peal for years, If Parson lost his senses And people came to theirs,
I saw with open eyes Singing birds sweet Sold in the shops For people to eat,
"How fared you when you mortal were? What did you see on my peopled star?" "Oh well enough," I answered her, "It went for me where mortals are!
Eve, with her basket, was Deep in the bells and grass, Wading in bells and grass Up to her knees,
A Wood Song
Now one and all, you Roses, Wake up, you lie too long! This very morning closes The Nightingale his song;
The world's gone forward to its latest fair And dropt an old man done with by the way, To sit alone among the bats and stare
A Song Of Honour
I climbed a hill as light fell short, And rooks came home in scramble sort, And filled the trees and flapped and fought
The Late Last Rook
The old gilt vane and spire receive The last beam eastward striking; The first shy bat to peep at eve Has found her to his liking.
Not baser than his own homekeeping kind Whose journeyman he is - Blind sons and breastless daughters of the blind
He came and took me by the hand Up to a red rose tree, He kept His meaning to Himself
The book was dull, its pictures As leaden as its lore, But one glad, happy picture Made up for all and more:
The House Across The Way
The leaves looked in at the window Of the house across the way, At a man that had sinned like you and me And all poor human clay.
Comments about Ralph Hodgson
See an old unhappy bull,
Sick in soul and body both,
Slouching in the undergrowth
Of the forest beautiful,
Banished from the herd he led,
Bulls and cows a thousand head.
Cranes and gaudy parrots go
Up and down the burning sky;
Tree-top cats purr drowsily
In the dim-day green below;
And troops of monkeys, nutting, some,
All disputing, go and come;
And things abominable sit
Picking offal buck or swine,
On the mess and over it
Burnished flies and beetles shine,
And spiders big as bladders lie
Under hemlocks ten foot high;