Are You a Shropshire Lad?

The man himself, Alfred Edward Housman, recorded in his poetry the distinct experience of being A Shropshire Lad. While it is a nebulous category for sure, its identifying features are pretty simple. Lots of them have to do with plants or existential amorous despair. Are you one? Maybe. Ready to find out? Ask yourself the following:

Are you wearing a crown of laurels (if only metaphorically)?

Would you lay down your life for him? Lay it down like a lightfoot boy by the brook too broad for leaping?

Is at least one lad involved?

Do you feel desperately worlds away from someone you know intimately?

Is death gentle and infinite?

Has something been torn asunder?

Are the clover and the laurels and the wildflowers agèd and wise?

Do you identify with one of the Greeks, but only as he relates to his lover?

Is there anything like the love between comrades?

Do you often make it clear that people have had it worse (though you’re not sure whether you believe it)?

Are you hyperaware of what the winds are doing right now?

Do you feel kind of ambiguous about whether you know what love is?

Have you ever imagined yourself shipwrecked together with your dearest friend?

Is anything perilous?

If you answered “yes” to more than seven of these questions, you may very well be a Shropshire Lad! Good fucking luck, comrade.

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