Thomas Hood

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Hood, Thomas,

1799–1845, English poet. He was an editor of various prominent magazines and periodicals. The greater proportion of his work was written in a humorous vein, and he was celebrated for his use of figurative language, especially puns. However, it is in his serious poems, notably "The Song of the Shirt" and "The Bridge of Sighs," that he shows his true creative ability. In these poems Hood displays great compassion for the poor and unfortunate, a feeling that was probably influenced by his own suffering from ill-health and poverty. His other noted poems include "The Dream of Eugene Aram" and "The Plea of the Midsummer Fairies."

Bibliography

See his letters ed. by P. F. Morgan (1973); study by L. N. Jeffrey (1972).

Hood, Thomas

 

Born May 23, 1799, in London; died there May 3, 1845. English poet. Son of a bookseller.

Hood illustrated his humorous poems with his own caricatures (Whims and Oddities, vols. 1–2, 1826–27). He achieved success, particularly among the Chartists, with the poem “The Song of the Shirt” (1843; Russian translation, 1860). Between 1844 and 1845 he edited Hood’s Magazine, in which he published the poems “The Bridge of Sighs,” “The Lady’s Dream,” and “The Lay of the Laborer” (1844; Russian translation, 1864). Engels wrote that Hood was “the most gifted of all contemporary British humorists” (K. Marx and F. Engels, Soch., 2nd ed., vol. 2, p. 435, note). In the novel What Is to Be Done? Chernyshevskii cited Hood’s “Stanzas.” “The Song of the Shirt” was translated by M. L. Mikhailov and D. D. Minaev and in the 20th century by E. G. Bagritskii.

WORKS

Complete Poetical Works. London, 1935.

REFERENCES

Mikhailov, M. “Iumor i poeziia v Anglii: Tomas Gud.” Sovremennik. 1861, nos. 1, 8.
Storozhenko, N. Iz oblasti literatury: Stat’i, lektsii, rechi, retsenzii. Moscow, 1902.
Reid, J. C. Thomas Hood. London, 1963.

A. N. NIKOLIUKIN