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Saturday, 9 August 2014

Poet: W. B. Yeats


As we went across Ireland, we stopped in country Sligo in a place called Drumcliff, where W. B. Yeats is buried (love the simple graves, no candles anywhere). I didn't read many of his poems before, and there I bought his poetry collection and have been reading it through-out the journey and still am. I find a sense of solace in them.

In 1917, William Butler Yeats published The Wild Swans at Coole, and from then onward he reached and maintained the height of his achievement. In 1923, he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature and, as a celebrated figure, he was indisputably one of the most significant modern poets and confounded expectations by producing his greatest work between the ages of 50 and 75. He had a lifelong interest in mysticism and occultism, and he joined The Ghost Club, a paranormal research organization, in 1911.


When You Are Old
By William Butler Yeats

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.
*
He Wishes For The Cloths Of Heaven

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.

This poem is also embroidered on a sculpture:


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