Biography of Ralph Hodgson
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 in Japan such as Takeshi Saito.
Ralph Hodgson was a reclusive figure, who disliked publicity about either his work or his private life. As a result, details on his early life are few and far between. From 1890 until 1912, he worked as an artist for various newspapers and magazines. From 1913, his private press, "At the Sign of the Flying Fame," played host to several of his poems as chapbooks and broadsides. These included "The Song of Honour , " and "The Bull, " for which he received the Polignac Prize in 1914. In 1924, he moved to Japan and took a post as English lecturer at Sendai's University.
His reputation as a poet rests upon a small number of publications. "The Bull, " " Eve ," " The Bells of Heaven ," and " The Song of Honour ," are regularly included in poetry anthologies.
This page is based on the copyrighted Wikipedia Ralph Hodgson; it is used under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License. You may redistribute it, verbatim or modified, providing that you comply with the terms of the CC-BY-SA.
Ralph Hodgson Poems
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,
Eve, with her basket, was Deep in the bells and grass, Wading in bells and grass Up to her knees,
"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!
I saw with open eyes Singing birds sweet Sold in the shops For people to eat,
A Wood Song
Now one and all, you Roses, Wake up, you lie too long! This very morning closes The Nightingale his song;
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,
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
Reason Has Moons
Reason has moons, but moons not hers, Lie mirror'd on the sea, Confounding her astronomers, But O! delighting me.
It's sixty years ago, the people say: Two village children, neighbours born and bred, One morning played beneath a rotten tree
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
He begged and shuffled on; Sometimes he stopped to throw A bit and benison To sparrows in the snow,
Sour fiend, go home and tell the Pit For once you met your master, - A man who carried in his soul Three charms against disaster,
Not baser than his own homekeeping kind Whose journeyman he is - Blind sons and breastless daughters of the blind
With Love among the haycocks
We played at hide and seek;
He shut his eyes and counted -
We hid among the hay -
Then he a haycock mounted,
And spied us where we lay;
And O! the merry laughter
Across the hayfield after!