Thomas Hood


'He Sang the Song of the Shirt'


Thomas Hood is buried in Kensal Green Cemetery, London, England. Also buried here is James Leigh Hunt.

Gravestone of Thomas Hood
Photograph by Connie Nisinger

Hood was the editor of a number of journals including Gem, Comic Annual, New Monthly Magazine and Hood's Magazine.

In his day Hood was known for his humorous and satirical verse and, in particular, for his skilful use of puns. However, today he is chiefly remembered for his more serious poems such as The Bridge of Sighs, The Song of the Shirt and The Death-Bed.

During his life Hood was plagued by ill health which encouraged him to turn to writing. He also suffered many financial difficulties and it is said that he once mortgaged his brain with his publishers in return for a cash advance. He was also a friend of the poet and essayist Charles Lamb.

Philip Larkin parodied his poem I Remember, I Remember to highlight the uneventful nature of his own childhood.

At Hood's funeral, his son remembered that as it came to a close 'a lark rose up, mounting and singing over our heads'.

Hood received a Civil List pension shortly before he died.

Thomas Hood

With fingers weary and worn, 
With eyelids heavy and red,
A woman sat, in unwomanly rags,
Plying her needle and thread -
Stitch! stitch! stitch!
In poverty, hunger and dirt.

From The Song of the Shirt


Read more of Hood's poetry






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