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Mrs. Dalloway
03-27-2007, 11:07 AM
What do you think this poem means? or what do you think about it? Do you like it? Why or why not? :D


MEMORY:

ONE had a lovely face,
And two or three had charm,
But charm and face were in vain
Because the mountain grass
Cannot but keep the form
Where the mountain hare has lain.

W.B. Yeats

Some opinions please! I want to know if I'm right or not about what this poem says :p

kandaurov
03-31-2007, 06:58 AM
Hm... this is a long, LONG shot... but I might as well give it a try.

Considering that Yeats had a melancholy, slightly pessimistic perspective of life, (check one of my personally favourite poems, "Whe you are old"), I'd say that he mentions face and charm as being ephemeral, and he thinks that beauty is not graspable, and thus of little use.

A girl may have a pretty face, but what use is beauty? We can't have her beauty, it is hers. And even if it is ours, what can we do but stare at it?

The way I see it, there is a helplessness of the mountain grass (this sounds odd, but I want to make it clear by using his metaphor), that cannot more than have an impression of the reality, that cannot keep the hare, but only a vague silhouette that proves its presence there.

Don't know if I made myself clear. Don't even have a clue if I'm spot-on or anywhere near the spot, for that matter. Hope it was of any help.

By the way, what do you make of the poem?

Mrs. Dalloway
03-31-2007, 07:34 AM
Maybe beauty and charm is not really important because they disappear as time goes by. When you are dead, neither charm nor beauty is useful. Maybe the grass is related to memory and maybe it means that the only thing we can do is remember charm and beauty before they disapperar. What is important is the moment when the hare has lain in the mountain, or the beauty that someone has in a specific time in her/his life. The only thing we can do is keep that moment in our memory.

I don't know if it's like this, but it's the meaning I thought when I read the poem. :D

kandaurov
03-31-2007, 07:49 AM
Yes, the grass is definitely memory... and agreed, it is about ephemeral things. Kind of reminds me of Frost's "Nothing Gold can Stay".

Have you read "He wishes for Cloths of Heaven"? It is short and simple, like this one, yet so moving... like this one! :P

By the way, your nickname reminds me: "Mrs Dalloway" has been sitting on the shelf, glancing flirtingly at me. Haven't had the time to start reading it, and she is not the first in list... May I assume, by your nickname, that you strongly reccommend it? :)

Mrs. Dalloway
03-31-2007, 07:59 AM
I'm already reading "Mrs Dalloway" and I'm enjoying, so I recommend it to you! Virginia Woolf was an amazing writer! I'm also reading "A room of one's own" and it's also great. :p

Yes I've read that poem and and I love it! :D But I'm not sure of the meaning too. Do you think it's similiar to "Memory"? What do you it means?
What's "enwrought"? I'm learning English and there are poems that for vocabulary I don't understand.

HE WISHES FOR THE CLOTHS OF HEAVEN

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.

kandaurov
03-31-2007, 08:23 AM
Yes, I really look forward to reading Virginia Woolf, I also have "Orlando"; my sister is reading it at the moment ;) I will read Mrs Dalloway as soon as I have the chance, then. Thanks!

"Enwrought", I believe, here means "woven"; the cloths are woven with golden and silver light.

As for the poem itself: the first four lines describe a beautiful, precious, heavenly piece of cloth; the other four tell us how he would throw it to the floor just to be walked over by his loved one. This means that she is like a goddess to him.

He does not, however, have that kind of treasures. He has only his dreams. After this, the last two lines are self-explanatory, and very touching. I myself am not a fan of poetry about romance, but Yeats doesn't put his emphasis on love; the image that comes across is that of a poor, helpless man, who is humblified by his loved one's divinal superiority.

Best irish poet ever, if you ask me! :)

Mrs. Dalloway
03-31-2007, 09:09 AM
Thanks! I thought something similar :)

I agree with you. He's the best. One of my fav poets :D

Northern seeker
10-30-2007, 04:50 PM
This is one of my favourite poems. It's a metaphor referring to Yeats's beloved Maud Gonne. He proposed to her but she refused him and he never got over her. What he's saying (in metaphor) in this poem, is that despite all the beautiful and charmming women he's met since Maud refused him, none of them have ever replaced her in his heart.

'..but the mountain grass cannot but hold the form where the mountain hare has lain'...is a fabulous metaphor to communicate his pining for Maud even though she's gone from him. The metaphor communicates his feeling so much more than him just saying words like 'No one has ever been able to replace Maud in my emotions or heart). :bawling:

Mrs. Dalloway
10-30-2007, 06:40 PM
This is one of my favourite poems. It's a metaphor referring to Yeats's beloved Maud Gonne. He proposed to her but she refused him and he never got over her. What he's saying (in metaphor) in this poem, is that despite all the beautiful and charmming women he's met since Maud refused him, none of them have ever replaced her in his heart.

'..but the mountain grass cannot but hold the form where the mountain hare has lain'...is a fabulous metaphor to communicate his pining for Maud even though she's gone from him. The metaphor communicates his feeling so much more than him just saying words like 'No one has ever been able to replace Maud in my emotions or heart). :bawling:

Really??? Now, the poem is better with this interpretation!! :D I like it :)