[EPUB] ✸ The Collected Poems of W.B. Yeats Author W.B. Yeats – Agedanna.info
My favourite piece of Yeats, which I ve known since I was a teenager I ve never really figured out what it means, but I think it s wonderful all the same Rose of all Roses, Rose of all the World You, too, have come where the dim tides are hurled Upon the wharves of sorrow, and heard ring The bell that calls us on the sweet far thing Beauty grown sad with its eternity Made you of us, and of the dim grey sea Our long ships loose thought woven sails and wait, For God has bid them share an equal fate And when at last defeated in His wars, They have gone down under the same white stars, We shall no longer hear the little cry Of our sad hearts, that may not live nor die. Okay Cards on the table.I m not actually that into Yeats I mean, he s fine, don t get me wrong Kind of an interesting dude with his Cabalism and his Jacob Black esque mother to daughter romantic transference thing.And some of his poetry I can t deny is pretty impressive stuff the one about wishing for the cloths of the heaven, and the second coming, and the lake isle of innisfree All that silver apples of the moon stuff Very nice.But, honestly, I used to keep this on my bedside table in order to look sensitive so arty types would sleep with me It, uh, did the job FIVE STARS The Collected Poems Of W B Yeats Includes All Of The Poems Authorized By Yeats For Inclusion In His Standard Canon Breathtaking In Range, It Encompasses The Entire Arc Of His Career, From Luminous Reworking Of Ancient Irish Myths And Legends, To Passionate Meditations On The Demands And Rewards Of Youth And Old Age, From Exquisite, Occasionally Whimsical Songs Of Love, Nature, And Art To Somber And Angry Poems Of Life In A Nation Torn By War And Uprising In Observing The Development Of Rich And Recurring Images And Themes Over The Course Of His Body Of Work, We Can Trace The Quest Of This Century S Greatest Poet To Unite Intellect And Artistry In A Single Magnificent VisionRevised And Corrected, This Edition Includes Yeat S Own Notes On His Poetry, Complemented By Explanatory Notes From Esteemed Yeats Scholar Richard J Finneran The Collected Poems Of W B Yeats Is The Most Comprehensive Edition Of One Of The World S Most Beloved Poets Available In Paperback Just looking at my bookcase and brushing off some old books covered in dust Man how did I miss Yeats Literary genius. I have given hourlong recitations of Yeats s poems, among the easiest to recall in English for example, his tetrameters in the late Under Ben Bulben which contains his epitaph I defy you to say this aloud three times without knowing most of it by heart Whether man dies in his bed, Or the rifle knocks him dead, A brief parting from those dear Is the worst man has to fear And his own epitaph is memorable, Cast a cold eye On life, on death Horseman, pass by It is anti conventional, since most epitaphs were written by clergy to scare the readers back to church, like this one in Pittsfield, MA Corruption, earth and worms Shall but refine this flesh etc I seriously doubt the interred was consulted about that one Yeats counters, look at this grave, and fogggetaboutit, Pass by By memory I still have When you are old, his adaptation of Ronsard, Lake Isle of Innisfree, so imitative of the water lapping the shores, in its medial caesuras, I hear lake water lappingThough I stand on the roadway..I shall arise and go now And so interesting that WBY first had a truism, There noon is all a glimmer, and midnight a purple glow, which he reversed to the memorable, There midnight s all a glimmer, and noon has a purple glow Ahh a useful trick for writers My Ph.D advisor Leonard Unger noted the influence of Meredith on Innisfree The Second Coming, whose opening I said in my flight fears of landing The problem in reciting that poem is The worst are full of passionate intensity I had to reduce the intensity of my aloudreading Sailing to Byzantium, and others I have also set to music seven of Yeats poems, including Brown Penny, Lullaby, Her Anxiety, and even Crazy Jane talks to the Bishop Some of these tunes, played decades ago, can be heard on my google page, no middle initial Yeats s son Michael, fathered in his late fifties, toured the US in the 70s A friend in the Berkshires heard him recall his father mainly shooing him from the room to write or recite Sounds accurate Maybe that s why Shakespeare lived in London, his kids in Stratford I mentioned learning Yeats at Leonard Unger s knee, but also from Chester Anderson, Joycean and Irish specialist. Yeats, Yeats, what can you say Ireland Mysticism Longing Despair PO etry This is a surprisingly consistent, formidable, subtle and wide ranging oeuvre and I m not the only person to have overheard the suggestion that Yeats was the greatest poet of the 20th Century Lets not forget the influence Not only in Ireland but in elsewhere, as part of some variation on the human cultural inheritance As far as I can tell, there were at least three major to my mind, anyway poets who admitted that when they were coming up they didn t just want to be LIKE Yeats, they wanted to BE Yeats, as one of them put it I mean, granted, he s insufferably emo He Mourns the Change That Has Come Upon Him and His Beloved, and He Wishes For The World To End He s tripping through the daisies, twisting his ankle, breaking his glasses, while he sings to the sun He can t get over the fact that Maude Gonne won t let him even think about taking her shirt off, but she s a unique, mercurial, assured young woman with a pilgrim soul in her, which her darling poet loves I mean, He Who Wishes for the Cloths of Heaven, When You Are Old, No Second Troy, Down By the Salley Gardens, and on and on And then there s this 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 streamAnd caught a little silver trout.When I had laid it on the floorI went to blow the fire a flame,But something rustled on the floor,And some one called me by my name It had become a glimmering girlWith apple blossom in her hairWho called me by my name and ranAnd faded through the brightening air.Though I am old with wanderingThrough 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 doneThe silver apples of the moon,The golden apples of the sunYou re right there, in a dream, in HIS dream, it s the Song of Wandering Aengus A whole enchanted world is created, in perfect meter and with metronomyic lullaby You believe him, somehow, or at least you believe the story Do you mean to tell me that you doubt Wandering Aengus Nu uh No way It s in the repetition of the imagery and the phrases in the last few lines It s the way the whole details of the story are told, unveiled, bit by bit Just a touch, a glance, a little Keatsian faery girl, a belle dame sans merci with a perfect alibi The mysticism is there, and it s hazy and, er, full of mist and glowing eyes and faery wings and stolen children and dolphins and mechanical birds in Byzantium and Helen of Troy and eternal roses and astrology and gods incarnating in the form of a swans while they fuck humans and darkness and eternity and the murderous innocence of the sea ruins and secret fountains and rolling hills and caves WBY slept in one for awhile, you country boys know how it gets when the evenings wind on endlessly under a deep summer sky and witches and little clay wattle huts, far from the pavement s gray, by a lazy river deep in Innisfree And he can get political I mean, this was a guy whose poetry and drama were front row seat essential to the literary lives and times of a centuries subjugated, colonized, demoralized, quasi Modern nation that underwent the convulsion of the failure of the Easter Rising in his day, to mention but one event amid the caterwaul of Ireland dragging itself kicking and screaming into the 20th Century Yeats was a lover not a fighter, no dewy doubt about that, but he grappled with the living nightmare of history with sober eyes and a wide view of the horizon By the way, that living nightmare bit was deliberate, ifyouknowwhatI msayin , and rumor has it a cocky, mouthy young lad once approached the smiling public man in the streets and told him that he was too old to talk some sense into him and subsequently absconded to the continent and proceeded to write Dubliners, Portrait and so on and so forth It s not so much that WBY was afraid or unwilling to enter into the burgeoning roil and confusion of the modern world Lightbulbs Radios Trench Warefare Relativity Quantum theory Dada Jazz Ezra Pound Girls who smoke and gleefully shag sailors and stockbrokers and poets, too, but not poor Willy Yeats, by the looks of things, much to his eternal chagrin and his glassy eyed, bookish haunting of wild Ireland starts to sound like wish fulfillment or the pleasure principle, I can t remember which It s that I think he played a small ish but significant part in a larger, complex, historically embedded and quite bloody awful historical moment I mean, he had to live with praising the soldier who was married to his beloved and screwing around on her, btw, for the record in a stoic and bitter and ruminating poem about a failed rebellion which he definitively supported and he was big enough to bite down hard and publish the thing anyway No, I think it s ok to give WBY the benefit of the doubt on this one Mad Ireland hurt him into poetry He knew damn well that words can have consequences, just like actions, and it s all well and good to huddle up by a candle in the library and proclaim your love for a woman or for the motherland or for Freedom and Justice or whatever but it s quite something else indeed to publicly submit one s statements for the record, when everybody s listening All that I have said and done,Now that I am old and ill,Turns into a question tillI lie awake night after nightAnd never get the answers right.Did that play of mine send outCertain men the English shot Did words of mine put too great strainOn that woman s reeling brain Could my spoken words have checkedThat whereby a house lay wreckedIt takes a lot of sand to ask yourself that question Then there s this How many times has this been quoted, from all over the body of the poem, particularly in places where its ominousness and austere power of facing, the apocalyptic mood that slowly spreads from word to word, from image to imagethe speaker knows all this, somehow, and he is just as overwhelmed by it as anyone else The best lack all conviction, while the worst are full of passionate intensity Twas it not ever thus Where else You can go for days I had a teacher for Irish lit who once remarked, quite off the cuff, that nobody gets out of a line that WBY By way of demonstration That civilisation may not sink,Its great battle lost,Quiet the dog, tehter the ponyTo a distant post Our master Caesar is in the tentWhere the maps are spread,His eyes fixed upon nothing,A hand upon his head.Like a long legged fly upon the streamHis mind moves upon silence.That the topless towers be burntAnd men recall that face,Move most gently if move you mustIn this lonely place.She thinks, part woman, three parts a child,That nobody looks her feetPractise a tinker shufflePicked up on a street.Like a long legged fly upon the streamHer mind moves upon silence.That girls at puberty may findThe first Adam in their thought,Shut the door of the Pope s chapel,Keep those children out.There on that scaffolding residesMichael Angelo.With no sound than the mice makeHis hand moves to and fro.Like a long legged fly upon the streamHis mind moves upon silence. You know that feeling you get when poetry happens That quiet, satisfied hum that you do after the poem has finished, and begins to dissipate into the air After the visitation That quiet, hushed, ruminating feeling Something is happening here and you don t know what it is My best friend is a big fan of the show Lost I ve never seen it, myself, but it comes highly recommended and all that The point being, he is fond of quoting the character Dexter, who is I think a Scottish guy given to charisma and or eloquence or something He s find of quoting Dexter s exultant, exuberant phrase that s just POETRY, bruther I ve never heard him actually say it, but I think I know what he means What it is What he s getting at What it s all about And if this stuff isn t it, then count me out of the human race Now, granted, the three poets I m thinking of Philip Larkin, John Berryman and Del Schwartz, if you re keeping score at home and you should be were, in their ways, degenerate pathetic alcoholics and therefore their somewhat maudlin affections for WBY might have been some kind of unconscious identification or projection onto the starry eyed, gnomic singer of ballads and player of harps and whatnot, but still Influence is a big indicator of admiration, y see, like imitation and flattery, especially in the notoriously competitive vineyards of literature The poetry was very good but rather depressing I believe he could have used some happy pills I would recommend it to all however.Enjoy and Be Blessed. W.B Yeats bought a signed 1st edition of Ulysses Yeat s poetry is deeply philosophical and moving A Dialogue of Self and Soul is still a top favorite poem of all time for me.Reference for 1st edition info The Collected Poems of W.B Yeats The Collected Works of W.B Yeats 1 , W.B Yeats, Richard J Finneran Editor To a child dancing in the windDance there upon the shore What need have you to careFor wind or water s roar And tumble out your hairThat the salt drops have wet Being young you have not knownThe fool s triumph, nor yetLove lost as soon as wonNor the best labourer deadAnd all the sheaves to bindWhat need have you to dreadThe monstrous crying of the wind 2013 Not everything in here works for me, but Yeats is never less than a pleasure to read As others have remarked upon, he s what one might describe as a proper poet his rhythmic structure and rhymes flow off of the reading tongue and at his best, he cannot be touched for the ariose beauty of his lyrical genius Before the World Was MadeIf I make the lashes dark And the eyes bright And the lips scarlet, Or ask if all be right From mirror after mirror, No vanity s displayed I m looking for the face I had Before the world was made What if I look upon a man As though on my beloved, And my blood be cold the while And my heart unmoved Why should he think me cruel Or that he is betrayed I d have him love the thing that was Before the world was madeOne of my favourites below, a lengthy verse that captures the very essence of disillusion amidst the wreckage of an apparent bounty of promise and progression Yeats rises to the heights yet wielding the language of ash and benightment no paens to the fey primordiality of Eire here, but rather poesy shaped with withering power Nineteen Hundred and NineteenI.Many ingenious lovely things are goneThat seemed sheer miracle to the multitude,protected from the circle of the moonThat pitches common things about There stoodAmid the ornamental bronze and stoneAn ancient image made of olive wood And gone are Phidias famous ivoriesAnd all the golden grasshoppers and bees.We too had many pretty toys when young A law indifferent to blame or praise,To bribe or threat habits that made old wrongMelt down, as it were wax in the sun s rays Public opinion ripening for so longWe thought it would outlive all future days.O what fine thought we had because we thoughtThat the worst rogues and rascals had died out.All teeth were drawn, all ancient tricks unlearned,And a great army but a showy thing What matter that no cannon had been turnedInto a ploughshare Parliament and kingThought that unless a little powder burnedThe trumpeters might burst with trumpetingAnd yet it lack all glory and perchanceThe guardsmen s drowsy chargers would not prance.Now days are dragon ridden, the nightmareRides upon sleep a drunken soldieryCan leave the mother, murdered at her door,To crawl in her own blood, and go scot free The night can sweat with terror as beforeWe pieced our thoughts into philosophy,And planned to bring the world under a rule,Who are but weasels fighting in a hole.He who can read the signs nor sink unmannedInto the half deceit of some intoxicantFrom shallow wits who knows no work can stand,Whether health, wealth or peace of mind were spentOn master work of intellect or hand,No honour leave its mighty monument,Has but one comfort left all triumph wouldBut break upon his ghostly solitude.But is there any comfort to be found Man is in love and loves what vanishes,What is there to say That country roundNone dared admit, if Such a thought were his,Incendiary or bigot could be foundTo burn that stump on the Acropolis,Or break in bits the famous ivoriesOr traffic in the grasshoppers or bees.II.When Loie Fuller s Chinese dancers enwoundA shining web, a floating ribbon of cloth,It seemed that a dragon of airHad fallen among dancers, had whirled them roundOr hurried them off on its own furious path So the platonic YearWhirls out new right and wrong,Whirls in the old instead All men are dancers and their treadGoes to the barbarous clangour of a gong.IIISome moralist or mythological poetCompares the solitary soul to a swan I am satisfied with that,Satisfied if a troubled mirror show it,Before that brief gleam of its life be gone,An image of its state The wings half spread for flight,The breast thrust out in prideWhether to play, or to rideThose winds that clamour of approaching night.A man in his own secret meditationIs lost amid the labyrinth that he has madeIn art or politics Some Platonist affirms that in the stationWhere we should cast off body and tradeThe ancient habit sticks,And that if our works couldBut vanish with our breathThat were a lucky death,For triumph can but mar our solitude.The swan has leaped into the desolate heaven That image can bring wildness, bring a rageTo end all things, to endWhat my laborious life imagined, evenThe half imagined, the half written page O but we dreamed to mendWhatever mischief seemedTo afflict mankind, but nowThat winds of winter blowLearn that we were crack pated when we dreamed.IV.We, who seven years agoTalked of honour and of truth,Shriek with pleasure if we showThe weasel s twist, the weasel s tooth.V.Come let us mock at the greatThat had such burdens on the mindAnd toiled so hard and lateTo leave some monument behind,Nor thought of the levelling wind.Come let us mock at the wise With all those calendars whereonThey fixed old aching eyes,They never saw how seasons run,And now but gape at the sun.Come let us mock at the goodThat fancied goodness might be gay,And sick of solitudeMight proclaim a holiday Wind shrieked and where are they Mock mockers after thatThat would not lift a hand maybeTo help good, wise or greatTo bar that foul storm out, for weTraffic in mockery.VI.Violence upon the roads violence of horses Some few have handsome riders, are garlandedOn delicate sensitive ear or tossing mane,But wearied running round and round in their coursesAll break and vanish, and evil gathers head Herodias daughters have returned again,A sudden blast of dusty wind and afterThunder of feet, tumult of images,Their purpose in the labyrinth of the wind And should some crazy hand dare touch a daughterAll turn with amorous cries, or angry cries,According to the wind, for all are blind.But now wind drops, dust settles thereuponThere lurches past, his great eyes without thoughtUnder the shadow of stupid straw pale locks,That insolent fiend Robert ArtissonTo whom the love lorn Lady Kyteler broughtBronzed peacock feathers, red combs of her cocks.