William Butler Yeats - any good?

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shanky
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William Butler Yeats - any good?

Post by shanky »

Given the recent silliness, I had the idea to bow out and move on, but with perhaps a meaningful parody of something famous...!

The below was my choice...’An Australian poster foresees his banning’ or somesuch.

As it turns out, and not being Softie, or Tah, or JMK, or any of those blokes, I (perhaps wisely) chose to leave the words alone. They wouldn’t be improved by me. LOL

Ladies and Gentlemen - if you didn’t already know - meet WB.



An Irish Airman foresees his Death

I know that I shall meet my fate
Somewhere among the clouds above;
Those that I fight I do not hate,
Those that I guard I do not love;
My country is Kiltartan Cross,
My countrymen Kiltartan’s poor,
No likely end could bring them loss
Or leave them happier than before.
Nor law, nor duty bade me fight,
Nor public men, nor cheering crowds,
A lonely impulse of delight
Drove to this tumult in the clouds;
I balanced all, brought all to mind,
The years to come seemed waste of breath,
A waste of breath the years behind
In balance with this life, this death.





Feel free to add your own favourites. :thumbup:
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camroc1
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Re: William Butler Yeats - any good?

Post by camroc1 »

shanky wrote:Given the recent silliness, I had the idea to bow out and move on, but with perhaps a meaningful parody of something famous...!

The below was my choice...’An Australian poster foresees his banning’ or somesuch.

As it turns out, and not being Softie, or Tah, or JMK, or any of those blokes, I (perhaps wisely) chose to leave the words alone. They wouldn’t be improved by me. LOL

Ladies and Gentlemen - if you didn’t already know - meet WB.



An Irish Airman foresees his Death

I know that I shall meet my fate
Somewhere among the clouds above;
Those that I fight I do not hate,
Those that I guard I do not love;
My country is Kiltartan Cross,
My countrymen Kiltartan’s poor,
No likely end could bring them loss
Or leave them happier than before.
Nor law, nor duty bade me fight,
Nor public men, nor cheering crowds,
A lonely impulse of delight
Drove to this tumult in the clouds;
I balanced all, brought all to mind,
The years to come seemed waste of breath,
A waste of breath the years behind
In balance with this life, this death.





Feel free to add your own favourites. :thumbup:
About Yeats' long time sponsor's son, Major Robert Gregory.

This is probably more appropriate......run out of ideas, living on past glories.......

The Circus Animals’ Desertion
BY WILLIAM BUTLER YEATS
I

I sought a theme and sought for it in vain,
I sought it daily for six weeks or so.
Maybe at last being but a broken man
I must be satisfied with my heart, although
Winter and summer till old age began
My circus animals were all on show,
Those stilted boys, that burnished chariot,
Lion and woman and the Lord knows what.

II

What can I but enumerate old themes,
First that sea-rider Oisin led by the nose
Through three enchanted islands, allegorical dreams,
Vain gaiety, vain battle, vain repose,
Themes of the embittered heart, or so it seems,
That might adorn old songs or courtly shows;
But what cared I that set him on to ride,
I, starved for the bosom of his fairy bride.

And then a counter-truth filled out its play,
`The Countess Cathleen' was the name I gave it,
She, pity-crazed, had given her soul away
But masterful Heaven had intervened to save it.
I thought my dear must her own soul destroy
So did fanaticism and hate enslave it,
And this brought forth a dream and soon enough
This dream itself had all my thought and love.

And when the Fool and Blind Man stole the bread
Cuchulain fought the ungovernable sea;
Heart mysteries there, and yet when all is said
It was the dream itself enchanted me:
Character isolated by a deed
To engross the present and dominate memory.
Players and painted stage took all my love
And not those things that they were emblems of.

III

Those masterful images because complete
Grew in pure mind but out of what began?
A mound of refuse or the sweepings of a street,
Old kettles, old bottles, and a broken can,
Old iron, old bones, old rags, that raving slut
Who keeps the till. Now that my ladder's gone
I must lie down where all the ladders start
In the foul rag and bone shop of the heart.

W. B. Yeats, “The Circus Animals’ Desertion” from The Poems of W. B. Yeats: A New Edition, edited by Richard J. Finneran. Copyright 1933 by Macmillan Publishing Company, renewed � 1961 by Georgie Yeats. Reprinted with the permission of A. P. Watt, Ltd. on behalf of Michael Yeats.
Source: The Collected Poems of W. B. Yeats (1989)
johnuknow
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Re: William Butler Yeats - any good?

Post by johnuknow »

This sometimes feels quite apt.
ITs from The Second Coming

"Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity"
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shanky
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Re: William Butler Yeats - any good?

Post by shanky »

LOL cammy. Aimed at me? Or you? Or ‘the bored?
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camroc1
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Re: William Butler Yeats - any good?

Post by camroc1 »

shanky wrote:LOL cammy. Aimed at me? Or you? Or ‘the bored?
A tout le monde.
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shanky
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Re: William Butler Yeats - any good?

Post by shanky »

camroc1 wrote:
shanky wrote:LOL cammy. Aimed at me? Or you? Or ‘the bored?
A tout le monde.
Oui. :lol:

(Megadeth song? )
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Mahoney
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Re: William Butler Yeats - any good?

Post by Mahoney »

shanky wrote:An Irish Airman foresees his Death

I know that I shall meet my fate
Somewhere among the clouds above;
Those that I fight I do not hate,
Those that I guard I do not love;
My country is Kiltartan Cross,
My countrymen Kiltartan’s poor,
No likely end could bring them loss
Or leave them happier than before.
Nor law, nor duty bade me fight,
Nor public men, nor cheering crowds,
A lonely impulse of delight
Drove to this tumult in the clouds;
I balanced all, brought all to mind,
The years to come seemed waste of breath,
A waste of breath the years behind
In balance with this life, this death.
One of my favourites.

I once googled it to remind myself of the text, and nearly had an apoplexy at the comments I found, which seemed to be entirely by moronic teenagers asked to comment on it in their English lesson, probably after a potted history of 19th & early 20th century Irish history, and all saying how the poor man had been forced to fight by the evil British.

It's 16 f*cking lines. Just 16. They are almost entirely about his reasons for fighting. How exactly can you get it so wrong?!
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shanky
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Re: William Butler Yeats - any good?

Post by shanky »

These are the words I said to my girl. Fortunately, I’m massively successful so it was all for giggles n stuff :uhoh:

But, if I was poor, then I’d be thankful, yeah?



Had I the heavens' embroidered cloths,
Enwrought with golden and silver light,
The blue and the dim and the dark cloths
Of night and light and the half light,
I would spread the cloths under your feet:
But I, being poor, have only my dreams;
I have spread my dreams under your feet;
Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.
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Mahoney
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Re: William Butler Yeats - any good?

Post by Mahoney »

Not Yeats, but another Irish WWI poem:

CROCKNAHARNA

On the heights of Crocknaharna,
(Oh, the lure of Crocknaharna)
On a morning fair and early
Of a dear remembered May,
There I heard a colleen singing
In the brown rocks and the grey.
She, the pearl of Crocknaharna,
Crocknaharna, Crocknaharna,
Wild with girls is Crocknaharna
Twenty hundred miles away.


On the heights of Crocknaharna,
(Oh, thy sorrow Crocknaharna)
On an evening dim and misty
Of a cold November day,
There I heard a woman weeping
In the brown rocks and the grey.
Oh, the pearl of Crocknaharna
(Crocknaharna, Crocknaharna),
Black with grief is Crocknaharna
Twenty hundred miles away.

Francis Ledwidge

From Meath, killed at Passchendaele. Personal bet that camroc provides these details.
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shanky
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Re: William Butler Yeats - any good?

Post by shanky »

Mahoney wrote:
shanky wrote:An Irish Airman foresees his Death

I know that I shall meet my fate
Somewhere among the clouds above;
Those that I fight I do not hate,
Those that I guard I do not love;
My country is Kiltartan Cross,
My countrymen Kiltartan’s poor,
No likely end could bring them loss
Or leave them happier than before.
Nor law, nor duty bade me fight,
Nor public men, nor cheering crowds,
A lonely impulse of delight
Drove to this tumult in the clouds;
I balanced all, brought all to mind,
The years to come seemed waste of breath,
A waste of breath the years behind
In balance with this life, this death.
One of my favourites.

I once googled it to remind myself of the text, and nearly had an apoplexy at the comments I found, which seemed to be entirely by moronic teenagers asked to comment on it in their English lesson, probably after a potted history of 19th & early 20th century Irish history, and all saying how the poor man had been forced to fight by the evil British.

It's 16 f*cking lines. Just 16. They are almost entirely about his reasons for fighting. How exactly can you get it so wrong?!
:lol:
I hear you
Clearly, you haven’t yet discovered ‘L’il Pump’ (google him, I dare you)
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shanky
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Re: William Butler Yeats - any good?

Post by shanky »

johnuknow wrote:This sometimes feels quite apt.
ITs from The Second Coming

"Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity"
The last two lines are pretty damning... :frown:
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camroc1
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Re: William Butler Yeats - any good?

Post by camroc1 »

Mahoney wrote:Not Yeats, but another Irish WWI poem:

CROCKNAHARNA

On the heights of Crocknaharna,
(Oh, the lure of Crocknaharna)
On a morning fair and early
Of a dear remembered May,
There I heard a colleen singing
In the brown rocks and the grey.
She, the pearl of Crocknaharna,
Crocknaharna, Crocknaharna,
Wild with girls is Crocknaharna
Twenty hundred miles away.


On the heights of Crocknaharna,
(Oh, thy sorrow Crocknaharna)
On an evening dim and misty
Of a cold November day,
There I heard a woman weeping
In the brown rocks and the grey.
Oh, the pearl of Crocknaharna
(Crocknaharna, Crocknaharna),
Black with grief is Crocknaharna
Twenty hundred miles away.

Francis Ledwidge

From Meath, killed at Passchendaele. Personal bet that camroc provides these details.
I've done so often enough before for you to remember - maith an buachaill.

Anyhoo, more Ledwidge :

LAMENT FOR THOMAS MACDONAGH

by Francis Ledwidge


He shall not hear the bittern cry
In the wild sky, where he is lain,
Nor voices of the sweeter birds
Above the wailing of the rain.
Nor shall he know when loud March blows
Thro' slanting snows her fanfare shrill,
Blowing to flame the golden cup
Of many an upset daffodil.
But when the dark cow leaves the moor,
And pastures poor with greedy weeds,
Perhaps he'll hear her low at morn
Lifting her horn in pleasant meads.
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shanky
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Re: William Butler Yeats - any good?

Post by shanky »

Mahoney wrote:Not Yeats, but another Irish WWI poem:

CROCKNAHARNA

On the heights of Crocknaharna,
(Oh, the lure of Crocknaharna)
On a morning fair and early
Of a dear remembered May,
There I heard a colleen singing
In the brown rocks and the grey.
She, the pearl of Crocknaharna,
Crocknaharna, Crocknaharna,
Wild with girls is Crocknaharna
Twenty hundred miles away.


On the heights of Crocknaharna,
(Oh, thy sorrow Crocknaharna)
On an evening dim and misty
Of a cold November day,
There I heard a woman weeping
In the brown rocks and the grey.
Oh, the pearl of Crocknaharna
(Crocknaharna, Crocknaharna),
Black with grief is Crocknaharna
Twenty hundred miles away.

Francis Ledwidge

From Meath, killed at Passchendaele. Personal bet that camroc provides these details.
Jaysus :(
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Newsome
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Re: William Butler Yeats - any good?

Post by Newsome »

No doubt inspired Roger Waters to pen this one: The Gunner's Dream

Floating down, through the clouds
Memories come rushing up to meet me now
But in the space between the heavens
And in the corner of some foreign field
I had a dream
I had a dream
Good-bye Max
Good-bye Ma
After the service, when you’re walking slowly to the car
And the silver in her hair shines in the cold November air
You hear the tolling bell
And touch the silk in your lapel
And as the tear drops rise to meet the comfort of the band
You take her frail hand
And hold on to the dream!

A place to stay
“Oi! A real one …”
Enough to eat
Somewhere old heroes shuffle safely down the street
Where you can speak out loud
About your doubts and fears
And what’s more, no-one ever disappears
You never hear their standard issue kicking in your door
You can relax on both sides of the tracks
And maniacs don’t blow holes in bandsmen by remote control
And everyone has recourse to the law
And no one kills the children anymore
No one kills the children anymore
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shanky
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Re: William Butler Yeats - any good?

Post by shanky »

Come on lads

Let’s play a reel
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camroc1
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Re: William Butler Yeats - any good?

Post by camroc1 »

And for the warm day that's in it :

The Lake Isle of Innisfree
BY WILLIAM BUTLER YEATS
I will arise and go now, and go to Innisfree,
And a small cabin build there, of clay and wattles made;
Nine bean-rows will I have there, a hive for the honey-bee,
And live alone in the bee-loud glade.

And I shall have some peace there, for peace comes dropping slow,
Dropping from the veils of the morning to where the cricket sings;
There midnight’s all a glimmer, and noon a purple glow,
And evening full of the linnet’s wings.

I will arise and go now, for always night and day
I hear lake water lapping with low sounds by the shore;
While I stand on the roadway, or on the pavements grey,
I hear it in the deep heart’s core.
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camroc1
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Re: William Butler Yeats - any good?

Post by camroc1 »

shanky wrote:Come on lads

Let’s play a reel
Also by Yeats :

COME gather round me Parnellites,
And praise our chosen man;
Stand upright on your legs awhile,
Stand upright while you can,
For soon we lie where he is laid,
And he is underground;
Come fill up all those glasses
And pass the bottle round.

And here's a cogent reason,
And I have many more,
He fought the might of England
And saved the Irish poor,
Whatever good a farmer's got
He brought it all to pass;
And here's another reason,
That Parnell loved a lass.

And here's a final reason,
He was of such a kind
Every man that sings a song
Keeps Parnell in his mind.
For Parnell was a proud man,
No prouder trod the ground,
And a proud man's a lovely man,
So pass the bottle round.

The Bishops and the party
That tragic story made,
A husband that had sold his wife
And after that betrayed;
But stories that live longest
Are sung above the glass,
And Parnell loved his country
And Parnell loved his lass.
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shanky
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Re: William Butler Yeats - any good?

Post by shanky »

Good one cammy. Spot on


I’ll add this, in the same vein

Might of the Church and the State,
Their mobs put under their feet.
O but heart’s wine shall run pure,
Mind’s bread grow sweet.
That were a cowardly song,
Wander in dreams no more;
What if the Church and the State
Are the mob that howls at the door!
Wine shall run thick to the end,
Bread taste sour.
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Bokkom
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Re: William Butler Yeats - any good?

Post by Bokkom »

Bugger the patriotic/jingoistic crap.
The Song of Wandering Aengus is my cup of tea.
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camroc1
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Re: William Butler Yeats - any good?

Post by camroc1 »

Bokkom wrote:Bugger the patriotic/jingoistic crap.
The Song of Wandering Aengus is my cup of tea.
The difference between the two :


The Ghost Of Roger Casement
Poem by William Butler Yeats


O WHAT has made that sudden noise?
What on the threshold stands?
It never crossed the sea because
John Bull and the sea are friends;
But this is not the old sea
Nor this the old seashore.
What gave that roar of mockery,
That roar in the sea's roar?
The ghost of Roger Casement
Is beating on the door.

John Bull has stood for Parliament,
A dog must have his day,
The country thinks no end of him,
For he knows how to say,
At a beanfeast or a banquet,
That all must hang their trust
Upon the British Empire,
Upon the Church of Christ.
The ghost of Roger Casement
Is beating on the door.

John Bull has gone to India
And all must pay him heed,
For histories are there to prove
That none of another breed
Has had a like inheritance,
Or sucked such milk as he,
And there's no luck about a house
If it lack honesty.
The ghost of Roger Casement
Is beating on the door.

I poked about a village church
And found his family tomb
And copied out what I could read
In that religious gloom;
Found many a famous man there;
But fame and virtue rot.
Draw round, beloved and bitter men,
Draw round and raise a shout;
The ghost of Roger Casement
Is beating on the door.
William Butler Yeats
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Bokkom
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Re: William Butler Yeats - any good?

Post by Bokkom »

camroc1 wrote:
Bokkom wrote:Bugger the patriotic/jingoistic crap.
The Song of Wandering Aengus is my cup of tea.
The difference between the two :


The Ghost Of Roger Casement
Poem by William Butler Yeats


O WHAT has made that sudden noise?
What on the threshold stands?
It never crossed the sea because
John Bull and the sea are friends;
But this is not the old sea
Nor this the old seashore.
What gave that roar of mockery,
That roar in the sea's roar?
The ghost of Roger Casement
Is beating on the door.

John Bull has stood for Parliament,
A dog must have his day,
The country thinks no end of him,
For he knows how to say,
At a beanfeast or a banquet,
That all must hang their trust
Upon the British Empire,
Upon the Church of Christ.
The ghost of Roger Casement
Is beating on the door.

John Bull has gone to India
And all must pay him heed,
For histories are there to prove
That none of another breed
Has had a like inheritance,
Or sucked such milk as he,
And there's no luck about a house
If it lack honesty.
The ghost of Roger Casement
Is beating on the door.

I poked about a village church
And found his family tomb
And copied out what I could read
In that religious gloom;
Found many a famous man there;
But fame and virtue rot.
Draw round, beloved and bitter men,
Draw round and raise a shout;
The ghost of Roger Casement
Is beating on the door.
William Butler Yeats
:thumbup:
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Gavin Duffy
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Re: William Butler Yeats - any good?

Post by Gavin Duffy »

WHEN YOU ARE OLD
BY WILLIAM BUTLER YEATS
When you are old and grey and full of sleep,
And nodding by the fire, take down this book,
And slowly read, and dream of the soft look
Your eyes had once, and of their shadows deep;

How many loved your moments of glad grace,
And loved your beauty with love false or true,
But one man loved the pilgrim soul in you,
And loved the sorrows of your changing face;

And bending down beside the glowing bars,
Murmur, a little sadly, how Love fled
And paced upon the mountains overhead
And hid his face amid a crowd of stars.
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PourSomeRuggerOnMe
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Re: William Butler Yeats - any good?

Post by PourSomeRuggerOnMe »

Sailing to Byzantium
BY WILLIAM BUTLER YEATS

I

That is no country for old men. The young
In one another's arms, birds in the trees,
—Those dying generations—at their song,
The salmon-falls, the mackerel-crowded seas,
Fish, flesh, or fowl, commend all summer long
Whatever is begotten, born, and dies.
Caught in that sensual music all neglect
Monuments of unageing intellect.

II

An aged man is but a paltry thing,
A tattered coat upon a stick, unless
Soul clap its hands and sing, and louder sing
For every tatter in its mortal dress,
Nor is there singing school but studying
Monuments of its own magnificence;
And therefore I have sailed the seas and come
To the holy city of Byzantium.

III

O sages standing in God's holy fire
As in the gold mosaic of a wall,
Come from the holy fire, perne in a gyre,
And be the singing-masters of my soul.
Consume my heart away; sick with desire
And fastened to a dying animal
It knows not what it is; and gather me
Into the artifice of eternity.

IV

Once out of nature I shall never take
My bodily form from any natural thing,
But such a form as Grecian goldsmiths make
Of hammered gold and gold enamelling
To keep a drowsy Emperor awake;
Or set upon a golden bough to sing
To lords and ladies of Byzantium
Of what is past, or passing, or to come.
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DOB
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Re: William Butler Yeats - any good?

Post by DOB »

My kids have been building fairy castles in the backyard recently hoping to catch a couple of them in the morning somehow. I don’t know how this got into their heads, but it’s fun to watch them.

Where dips the rocky highland
Of Sleuth Wood in the lake,
There lies a leafy island
Where flapping herons wake
The drowsy water rats;
There we've hid our faery vats,
Full of berrys
And of reddest stolen cherries.
Come away, O human child!
To the waters and the wild
With a faery, hand in hand,
For the world's more full of weeping than you can understand.

Where the wave of moonlight glosses
The dim gray sands with light,
Far off by furthest Rosses
We foot it all the night,
Weaving olden dances
Mingling hands and mingling glances
Till the moon has taken flight;
To and fro we leap
And chase the frothy bubbles,
While the world is full of troubles
And anxious in its sleep.
Come away, O human child!
To the waters and the wild
With a faery, hand in hand,
For the world's more full of weeping than you can understand.

Where the wandering water gushes
From the hills above Glen-Car,
In pools among the rushes
That scarce could bathe a star,
We seek for slumbering trout
And whispering in their ears
Give them unquiet dreams;
Leaning softly out
From ferns that drop their tears
Over the young streams.
Come away, O human child!
To the waters and the wild
With a faery, hand in hand,
For the world's more full of weeping than you can understand.

Away with us he's going,
The solemn-eyed:
He'll hear no more the lowing
Of the calves on the warm hillside
Or the kettle on the hob
Sing peace into his breast,
Or see the brown mice bob
Round and round the oatmeal chest.
For he comes, the human child,
To the waters and the wild
With a faery, hand in hand,
For the world's more full of weeping than he can understand.
Last edited by DOB on Wed Jun 24, 2020 6:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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PourSomeRuggerOnMe
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Re: William Butler Yeats - any good?

Post by PourSomeRuggerOnMe »

His brother Jack was quite the artist as well. Here's one of his, Grief.

Jack also holds the distinction of being Ireland's first Olympic medallist.
Spoiler: show
Image
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anonymous_joe
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Re: William Butler Yeats - any good?

Post by anonymous_joe »

PourSomeRuggerOnMe wrote:His brother Jack was quite the artist as well. Here's one of his, Grief.

Jack also holds the distinction of being Ireland's first Olympic medallist.
Spoiler: show
Image
His old man was a decent dauber too.
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Gavin Duffy
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Re: William Butler Yeats - any good?

Post by Gavin Duffy »

Padraig Pearse wrote a few poems, I believe.
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Bokkom
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Re: William Butler Yeats - any good?

Post by Bokkom »

PourSomeRuggerOnMe wrote:Sailing to Byzantium
BY WILLIAM BUTLER YEATS

I

That is no country for old men. The young
In one another's arms, birds in the trees,
—Those dying generations—at their song,
The salmon-falls, the mackerel-crowded seas,
Fish, flesh, or fowl, commend all summer long
Whatever is begotten, born, and dies.
Caught in that sensual music all neglect
Monuments of unageing intellect.

II

An aged man is but a paltry thing,
A tattered coat upon a stick, unless
Soul clap its hands and sing, and louder sing
For every tatter in its mortal dress,
Nor is there singing school but studying
Monuments of its own magnificence;
And therefore I have sailed the seas and come
To the holy city of Byzantium.

III

O sages standing in God's holy fire
As in the gold mosaic of a wall,
Come from the holy fire, perne in a gyre,
And be the singing-masters of my soul.
Consume my heart away; sick with desire
And fastened to a dying animal
It knows not what it is; and gather me
Into the artifice of eternity.

IV

Once out of nature I shall never take
My bodily form from any natural thing,
But such a form as Grecian goldsmiths make
Of hammered gold and gold enamelling
To keep a drowsy Emperor awake;
Or set upon a golden bough to sing
To lords and ladies of Byzantium
Of what is past, or passing, or to come.
How apt, me, a middle aged man living in Istanbul.
It still rings true.
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anonymous_joe
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Re: William Butler Yeats - any good?

Post by anonymous_joe »

I'm still suspicious as to whether perne in a gyre is a reference to eternity or not or merely foreshadowing his avian ending.
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shanky
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Re: William Butler Yeats - any good?

Post by shanky »

Top stuff lads.

You don’t always recall these gems until someone draws your attention to them. :thumbup:
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MungoMan
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Re: William Butler Yeats - any good?

Post by MungoMan »

Yeats was a very silly man in so many respects. Yet he versified like an angel.
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happyhooker
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Re: William Butler Yeats - any good?

Post by happyhooker »

Mahoney wrote:Not Yeats, but another Irish WWI poem:

CROCKNAHARNA

On the heights of Crocknaharna,
(Oh, the lure of Crocknaharna)
On a morning fair and early
Of a dear remembered May,
There I heard a colleen singing
In the brown rocks and the grey.
She, the pearl of Crocknaharna,
Crocknaharna, Crocknaharna,
Wild with girls is Crocknaharna
Twenty hundred miles away.


On the heights of Crocknaharna,
(Oh, thy sorrow Crocknaharna)
On an evening dim and misty
Of a cold November day,
There I heard a woman weeping
In the brown rocks and the grey.
Oh, the pearl of Crocknaharna
(Crocknaharna, Crocknaharna),
Black with grief is Crocknaharna
Twenty hundred miles away.

Francis Ledwidge

From Meath, killed at Passchendaele. Personal bet that camroc provides these details.
Rhymes crocknaharma with crocknaharma 2/10 wnr.

Yeats is wonderful. I particularly like stolen child.

Although for pure beauty of using language as sound, especially when read aloud, gerard Manley hopkins is peerless. (And I know he died in dublin cammy)

Reading the windhover at dad's funeral was one of the hardest things I've ever had to do in my life. (Sorry on phone so no c&p)
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Uncle Fester
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Re: William Butler Yeats - any good?

Post by Uncle Fester »

I

I walk through the long schoolroom questioning;
A kind old nun in a white hood replies;
The children learn to cipher and to sing,
To study reading-books and history,
To cut and sew, be neat in everything
In the best modern way—the children's eyes
In momentary wonder stare upon
A sixty-year-old smiling public man.


II

I dream of a Ledaean body, bent
Above a sinking fire, a tale that she
Told of a harsh reproof, or trivial event
That changed some childish day to tragedy—
Told, and it seemed that our two natures blent
Into a sphere from youthful sympathy,
Or else, to alter Plato's parable,
Into the yolk and white of the one shell.


III

And thinking of that fit of grief or rage
I look upon one child or t'other there
And wonder if she stood so at that age—
For even daughters of the swan can share
Something of every paddler's heritage—
And had that colour upon cheek or hair,
And thereupon my heart is driven wild:
She stands before me as a living child.


IV

Her present image floats into the mind—
Did Quattrocento finger fashion it
Hollow of cheek as though it drank the wind
And took a mess of shadows for its meat?
And I though never of Ledaean kind
Had pretty plumage once—enough of that,
Better to smile on all that smile, and show
There is a comfortable kind of old scarecrow.


V

What youthful mother, a shape upon her lap
Honey of generation had betrayed,
And that must sleep, shriek, struggle to escape
As recollection or the drug decide,
Would think her son, did she but see that shape
With sixty or more winters on its head,
A compensation for the pang of his birth,
Or the uncertainty of his setting forth?


VI

Plato thought nature but a spume that plays
Upon a ghostly paradigm of things;
Solider Aristotle played the taws
Upon the bottom of a king of kings;
World-famous golden-thighed Pythagoras
Fingered upon a fiddle-stick or strings
What a star sang and careless Muses heard:
Old clothes upon old sticks to scare a bird.


VII

Both nuns and mothers worship images,
But those the candles light are not as those
That animate a mother's reveries,
But keep a marble or a bronze repose.
And yet they too break hearts—O Presences
That passion, piety or affection knows,
And that all heavenly glory symbolise—
O self-born mockers of man's enterprise;


VIII

Labour is blossoming or dancing where
The body is not bruised to pleasure soul,
Nor beauty born out of its own despair,
Nor blear-eyed wisdom out of midnight oil.
O chestnut tree, great rooted blossomer,
Are you the leaf, the blossom or the bole?
O body swayed to music, O brightening glance,
How can we know the dancer from the dance?
Billy Wall used to love going on about Ledaean bodies.
Al Davis 2
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Re: William Butler Yeats - any good?

Post by Al Davis 2 »

He would be considered a joke today
iarmhiman
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Re: William Butler Yeats - any good?

Post by iarmhiman »

Al Davis 2 wrote:He would be considered a joke today
Are you an expert on poetry?
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fatcat
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Re: William Butler Yeats - any good?

Post by fatcat »

Behold the flashing waters
A cloven dancing jet,
That from the milk-white marble
For ever foam and fret;
Far off in drowsy valleys
Where the meadow saffrons blow,
The feet of summer dabble
In their coiling calm and slow.
The banks are worn forever
By a people sadly gay:
A Titan with loud laughter,
Made them of fire clay.
Go ask the springing flowers,
And the flowing air above,
What are the twin-born waters,
And they'll answer Death and Love.

With wreaths of withered flowers
Two lonely spirits wait
With wreaths of withered flowers
'Fore paradise's gate.
They may not pass the portal
Poor earth-enkindled pair,
Though sad is many a spirit
To pass and leave them there
Still staring at their flowers,
That dull and faded are.
If one should rise beside thee,
The other is not far.
Go ask the youngest angel,
She will say with bated breath,
By the door of Mary's garden
Are the spirits Love and Death.
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Massey Ferguson
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Re: William Butler Yeats - any good?

Post by Massey Ferguson »

i have never found another poet who's words move me like his.

Peace comes dropping slow. Beautiful.

it's hard to pick a favourite.

I went out to the hazel wood,
Because a fire was in my head,
And cut and peeled a hazel wand,
And hooked a berry to a thread;
And when white moths were on the wing,
And moth-like stars were flickering out,
I dropped the berry in a stream
And caught a little silver trout.

When I had laid it on the floor
I went to blow the fire a-flame,
But something rustled on the floor,
And someone called me by my name:
It had become a glimmering girl
With apple blossom in her hair
Who called me by my name and ran
And faded through the brightening air.

Though I am old with wandering
Through hollow lands and hilly lands,
I will find out where she has gone,
And kiss her lips and take her hands;
And walk among long dappled grass,
And pluck till time and times are done,
The silver apples of the moon,
The golden apples of the sun.
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camroc1
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Re: William Butler Yeats - any good?

Post by camroc1 »

He's an all time great and overshadowed 20th century Irish (as opposed to Gaelic) poetry until Heaney.

I have soft spots for Louis McNeice, Austin Clarke, and Paddy Kavanagh, but Yeats was in a different league.
Al Davis 2
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Re: William Butler Yeats - any good?

Post by Al Davis 2 »

iarmhiman wrote:
Al Davis 2 wrote:He would be considered a joke today
Are you an expert on poetry?
Far from it! Loved him in school

He’s of the time tho
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Lenny
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Re: William Butler Yeats - any good?

Post by Lenny »

DOB wrote:My kids have been building fairy castles in the backyard recently hoping to catch a couple of them in the morning somehow. I don’t know how this got into their heads, but it’s fun to watch them.

Where dips the rocky highland
Of Sleuth Wood in the lake,
There lies a leafy island
Where flapping herons wake
The drowsy water rats;
There we've hid our faery vats,
Full of berrys
And of reddest stolen cherries.
Come away, O human child!
To the waters and the wild
With a faery, hand in hand,
For the world's more full of weeping than you can understand.

Where the wave of moonlight glosses
The dim gray sands with light,
Far off by furthest Rosses
We foot it all the night,
Weaving olden dances
Mingling hands and mingling glances
Till the moon has taken flight;
To and fro we leap
And chase the frothy bubbles,
While the world is full of troubles
And anxious in its sleep.
Come away, O human child!
To the waters and the wild
With a faery, hand in hand,
For the world's more full of weeping than you can understand.

Where the wandering water gushes
From the hills above Glen-Car,
In pools among the rushes
That scarce could bathe a star,
We seek for slumbering trout
And whispering in their ears
Give them unquiet dreams;
Leaning softly out
From ferns that drop their tears
Over the young streams.
Come away, O human child!
To the waters and the wild
With a faery, hand in hand,
For the world's more full of weeping than you can understand.

Away with us he's going,
The solemn-eyed:
He'll hear no more the lowing
Of the calves on the warm hillside
Or the kettle on the hob
Sing peace into his breast,
Or see the brown mice bob
Round and round the oatmeal chest.
For he comes, the human child,
To the waters and the wild
With a faery, hand in hand,
For the world's more full of weeping than he can understand.
By coincidence I walked in Slish (Sleuth) Woods today. That side of the lake is absolutely beautiful, but the lake isle of Innisfree is hugely underwhelming, little more than a collection of rocks with a few trees growing out of them.
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