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Old 12-01-2004, 12:16 PM   #1
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William Butler Yeats appreciation thread

My forte is fiction. I understand it, I can analyze it, and I enjoy it. I do reasonably well with drama, but there is very little poetry that does anything for me at all. Although I am by no means a scholar of Yeats' work, he is probably my favorite poet along with Tennyson and maybe Plath or Eliot. Normally I have some piece of insight when I do literary threads, like Nabokov or Joyce, but today I'm just going to post a poem:

The Choice (1932)

The intellect of a man is forced to choose
Perfection of the life, or of the work
And if it take the second must refuse
A heavenly mansion, raging in the dark
When all that story's finished, what's the news?
In luck or out the toil has left its mark
That old perplexity an empty purse,
on the day's vanity, the night's remorse.

Also, the volume of Irish folk and fairy tales he edited is wonderful, as well
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Old 12-01-2004, 12:19 PM   #2
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ummm,nice,i think
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Old 12-01-2004, 12:23 PM   #3
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Most of his best poems are rather longish. I would have put "Byzantium".... but I'm not really up to typing that up
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Old 12-03-2004, 12:21 AM   #4
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Where is jkayet?
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Old 12-03-2004, 03:09 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally posted by UnforgettableLemon
Most of his best poems are rather longish. I would have put "Byzantium".... but I'm not really up to typing that up
Before me floats an image man or shade,
Shade more than man, more image than a shade
- Byzantium.

I think I know all of that poem and the next one I'll post off by heart now.

I love Yeats. He is up there with Wordsworth.


This poem is one of my favourites (my other favourite is The Listeners by Walter de la Mare but I don't want to post it and ruin Unforgettable Lemon's Yeats thread )


When You Are Old

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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Old 12-03-2004, 03:24 AM   #6
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Oh, if you ever get the chance to come here you should really check out Sligo, Yeat's Country. You get to do lots of tours and there is a boat tour you can do on Lough Gill I think where you can see Innisfree and the man who does the tour is able to ramble off lines from Yeat's poems. It really is interesting but after going endless amounts of times as a child I really started to hate Sligo and we always had to go and see Yeats' grave. I don't like doing things like that, too morbid for me. I can remember his epitaph though

"Cast a cold eye on life on death, Horsemen pass by"

My Dad is a Yeats/ Joyce fanatic.
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Old 12-03-2004, 07:03 AM   #7
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I would die happy just to spend some time in Ireland. I wanted to come last summer for the Bloomsday/ReJoyce thing so bad it makes my brain hurt.
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