Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Happy Birthday To William Butler Yeats

William Butler Yeats was born on this day in 1865, in Dublin.

Do you have a favorite Yeats poem? This one isn't my favorite, but it always comes to mind.

The Lake Isle Of Innisfree

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 mourning 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.


Batocchio said...

This is one of my favorites by him. It's probably over-used, but that ain't Yeats' fault, and I think I can find at least half a dozen books, stories or other poems that directly reference it:

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.
Surely some revelation is at hand;
Surely the Second Coming is at hand.
The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out
When a vast image out of "Spiritus Mundi"
Troubles my sight: somewhere in sands of the desert
A shape with lion body and the head of a man,
A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it
Reel shadows of the indignant desert birds.
The darkness drops again; but now I know
That twenty centuries of stony sleep
Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?

celticfeminist said...

Oh Yeats. *loves*

A couple of months ago, my mom gave me a bunch of old papers I had. Apparently in college I wrote a paper analyzing The Lake Isle of Innisfree. Rereading it I had some pretty good insights.

Of course, I have no recollection of choosing, writing, or turning in this paper.

Brave Sir Robin said...

So, share the paper with us!


somewaterytart said...

She wishes for the cloths of heaven...