Poetry Friday (early!)

I know, I can't believe it either. Though I'm not a real rhyming poetry lover, this week it's Yeats. The first poem I love because it makes me wonder who the women are he's talking about and how each came into his life. Maybe you've already read extensive biographies of Yeats and know all about each one. For me, it's a mystery. The second, well, maybe you've read it a thousand times. Maybe you hate it. Maybe it's kind of a downer of a choice with Valentine's Day on the horizon. But for me, it's all that one line--"loved the pilgrim soul. . ."


Now must I these three praise
Three women that have wrought
What joy is in my days:
One because no thought,
Nor those unpassing cares,
No, not in these fifteen
Many-times-troubled years,
Could ever come between
Mind and delighted mind;
And one because her hand
Had strength that could unbind
What none can understand,
What none can have and thrive,
Youth's dreamy load, till she
So changed me that I live
Labouring in ecstasy.
And what of her that took
All till my youth was gone
With scarce a pitying look?
How could I praise that one?
When day begins to break
I count my good and bad,
Being wakeful for her sake,
Remembering what she had,
What eagle look still shows,
While up from my heart's root
So great a sweetness flows
I shake from head to foot.


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.


Anonymous said...

K -- always reminds me of this one :

That time of year thou mayst in me behold
When yellow leaves, or none, or few, do hang
Upon those boughs which shake against the cold,
Bare ruin'd choirs, where late the sweet birds sang.
In me thou seest the twilight of such day
As after sunset fadeth in the west,
Which by and by black night doth take away,
Death's second self, that seals up all in rest.
In me thou see'st the glowing of such fire
That on the ashes of his youth doth lie,
As the death-bed whereon it must expire
Consumed with that which it was nourish'd by.
This thou perceivest, which makes thy love more strong,
To love that well which thou must leave ere long.

Also I read up on your Social Libertarians and my main mentor at U of B was at harvard with Roman Jakobsne who spun off of Chomsky, there's that 6 degrees again or maybe 6 below...

teach people not books said...

heartbreaking! i love it!

yeah chomsky was the beginning of the thread that led me to the eventual very authoritative wiki entry. i'm so scholarly. sigh. this is why i need to be in grad school, stat.

Anonymous said...

noteYes because teaching the unteachable to the inscrutable will sap you of 10% of your intellectual function for every year you persist in this folly. That's how it was spelled out for me by the grizzled wisecrackers in the smoke filled basement break room at the auto mechanics vocational school where I began my humble career. There may be some wiggle room with the margin for error but the principle is sound. I see people my age and younger launching themselves into administration and I want to go hurl. As Alan Ginsberg said so aptly : “Well, while I'm here I'll do the work — and what's the work? To ease the pain of living. Everything else, drunken dumbshow.”
— Allen Ginsberg, Memory Gardens funny note : the word verification for this was "HEMPEN"

teach people not books said...

i love that ginsberg quote. your sentiments are saddening, but i know there is truth in what you say.

i reject the idea of going into administration in its entirety. it makes me, too, want to hurl.

my word verification for my first post was triad. weird.

enc said...

Aaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhh. Good poetry.

(Thanks for thinking of me with the j-suits; I was going through the MJ F'09 slideshow today, but wasn't able to finish it before I had to leave.)

I hope you're doing well.

Ms. X said...

Whoa -- I never heard "When You Are Old" before, but I love it.