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Thread: Today's birthday - William Butler Yeats

  1. #1
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    Today's birthday - William Butler Yeats

    William Butler Yeats
    (13 June 1865, Sandymount, County Dublin - 28 January 1939, Menton, France)

    Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold

    Hello, dear viewers of this thread. I just wanted to humbly commemorate the birth of one great Irish poet, major figure of the 20th-century literature, and acknowledged leader of the Irish literary renaissance. If you have any comments, I'm all eyes

    We rode in sorrow, with strong hounds three,
    Bran, Sgeolan, and Lomair,
    On a morning misty and mild and fair.
    The mist-drops hung on the fragrant trees,
    And in the blossoms hung the bees.
    We rode in sadness above Lough Lean,
    For our best were dead on Gavra's green.

    A man young and old:

    My arms are like the twisted thorn
    And yet there beauty lay;
    The first of all the tribe lay there
    And did such pleasure take;
    She who had brought great Hector down
    And put all Troy to wreck.

  2. #2
    Mad Hatter Mark F.'s Avatar
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    Jun 2005
    A great poet

    From Down by the Salley Gardens

    "She bid me take life easy, as the grass grows on the weirs;
    But I was young and foolish, and now am full of tears."
    "And the worms, they will climb
    The rugged ladder of your spine"

  3. #3
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    May 2008
    Yeats wrote 2 of my favourite poems ever,

    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 man, 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.

    and the beautiful

    He Wishes For The Cloths Of Heaven by William Butler Yeats

    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.


  4. #4
    Vincit Qui Se Vincit Virgil's Avatar
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    Nov 2005
    New York
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    Happy birthdazy WBY!! In his honor I woould like to post what has slowly become one of my favorite of Yeat's poems:

    The Circus Animals' Desertion
    by William Butler Yeats


    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.


    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 faery 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 intetvened 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.


    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.

    "Love follows knowledge." – St. Catherine of Siena

    My literature blog:

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