Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Wherein I Call Yeats "Awesome"

Today, I will follow Amy's example and post a poem in honor of April's being poetry month.  Long ago, when I was young and in college, I went through a phase of posting poems on the walls of my bedroom.  Please remember, young' uns, that this endeavor actually required some effort on my part: there were no poems on the Internet to copy and paste and print out.  There was no sharing of inspirational quotes on Pinterest or Tumblr.  I wrote these out myself from a book that I had gotten from a library.  I stopped short of using calligraphy, but still...


Anywhoo, I no longer recognize that young lady who - in addition to being able to thrive on 6 hours sleep and bike up and down the steep hills of Ithaca, NY -  posted poems on her bedroom wall.  I don't remember why she did that.  I don't even recall what criteria she used in their selection.  But one of those poems, by Yeats, has always stuck with me; and here I share it with you (just imagine Garrison Keillor reading it aloud - it sounds better that way):

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,         5
Dropping from the veils of the morning 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;  10
While I stand on the roadway, or on the pavements gray,
      I hear it in the deep heart's core.

A bee-loud glade...where peace comes dropping slow...and midnight's all a-glimmer...even to a poetry idiot like me, those phrases sound awesome.

Awesome -- I bet Yeats would have come up with a better descriptor than that.

[And that painting up there, by Kate McPhee, was inspired by the poem.  I like it.]


  1. And to think I was busy posting Rock quotes (lines from my favorite rock-n-roll songs) on the white board on my dorm room door. Perhaps that is the difference between attending college in Ithaca vs. Seattle?

    Love the inspired artwork!

  2. Wow--I used to LOVE poetry back in the day. You're renewing my interest! LOVE this Yeats poem, and those phrases are amazing (thought I'd add my profound word, amazing, to your awesome).

  3. I used to read poetry aloud to my nursing baby. I miss poetry,

  4. In my humble opinion, there is no better descriptor than awesome. This post was awesome.

  5. Love it. I too loved poetry in my life B.C. (before children) One of my favorites is "The Lovesong of J.Alfred Prufrock" by T.S. Eliot.

    April is the cruellest month...

  6. I adore Yeats. About once a year, I drag down my collected poems of his and read all my old favs. That picture is gorgeous too!

    I posted a Gerard Manley Hopkins' poem to my facebook page yesterday. I'll have to blog a poem.

  7. Mmmm...thanks for the lovely image today, SC!

  8. Yay! More people sharing poetry. :)

  9. What voice more sweet than hers
    When young and beautiful,
    She rode to harriers?

    (I think "Harriers" is an Irish brand of bicycles.)

  10. Now I know why I like you! I did the same thing, writing out poems and posting them on walls! And this was one of my favorites. In fact I memorized just cuz I liked so much. Awesome!

  11. I first encountered this poem in the "Outlander" series by Diana Gabaldon, and then only the first verse. How wonderful to find there is more! My favorite poem was one my mother read me on my 7th birthday: "I must go down to the sea again" by John Masefield. I always here it in her voice. I too no longer recognize the young woman who attended college so long ago using my name!

  12. I believe Yeats would've called it "fuckin' A." Or perhaps "totes cool."

  13. I love Yeats. Back when I had my own brain and my kids hadn't sucked most of it out, I loved poetry. I never had any classes on it, but I liked what I liked.

    I miss my brain...