Reading the 20th Century discussion

Poetry > W.B. Yeats

Comments Showing 1-15 of 15 (15 new)    post a comment »
dateDown arrow    newest »

message 1: by Susan (new)

Susan | 8942 comments Mod
William Butler Yeats ( 13 June 1865 – 28 January 1939) was an Irish poet and one of the foremost figures of 20th century literature.

message 2: by Ivan (new)

Ivan | 88 comments

The Song of Wandering Aengus

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 stream
And caught a little silver trout.

When I had laid it on the floor
I went to blow the fire a-flame,
But something rustled on the floor,
And someone called me by my name:
It had become a glimmering girl
With apple blossom in her hair
Who called me by my name and ran
And faded through the brightening air.

Though I am old with wandering
Through 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 done,
The silver apples of the moon,
The golden apples of the sun.

message 3: by Roman Clodia (new)

Roman Clodia | 4018 comments Mod
Thanks for posting this - a little Yeats during the day is lovely.

message 4: by Ivan (new)

Ivan | 88 comments Roman Clodia wrote: "Thanks for posting this - a little Yeats during the day is lovely."

Did you watch the YouTube video with Michael Gambon reading it - that voice is like ... well, I don't know what. It's so rich, so emotive. I get verklempt just listening to it.

message 5: by Ivan (new)

Ivan | 88 comments

Down By the Salley Gardens
By William Butler Yeats

Down by the salley gardens
   my love and I did meet;
She passed the salley gardens
   with little snow-white feet.
She bid me take love easy,
   as the leaves grow on the tree;
But I, being young and foolish,
   with her would not agree.

In a field by the river
   my love and I did stand,
And on my leaning shoulder
   she laid her snow-white hand.
She bid me take life easy,
   as the grass grows on the weirs;
But I was young and foolish,
   and now am full of tears.

message 6: by Judy (new)

Judy (wwwgoodreadscomprofilejudyg) | 4205 comments Mod
Ivan, I've heard that song many times but did not realise it was a poem by Yeats. A beautiful lyric.

message 7: by Ivan (new)

Ivan | 88 comments

Cloths of Heaven
William Butler Yeats

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.

message 8: by Ivan (new)

Ivan | 88 comments

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.

message 9: by Roman Clodia (new)

Roman Clodia | 4018 comments Mod
I'd forgotten how tender and lovely Yeats' lyrics are so thank you for this wonderful reminder, Ivan.

Salman Rushdie plays with his The Second Coming in his recent The Golden House - the terrible and violent side of Yeats. Must look out his poetry, a book I haven't opened since I was an undergrad!

message 10: by Daniel (new)

Daniel Kemp (goodreadscomdanielkemp) I do like Yeats but personally, I lean more towards Shelley. I think this one that I wrote is in his style.

To rise from this barren earth
To soar above, to wing away
To escape from all that's lacking
And live to love another day.

message 11: by Greg (new)

Greg | 131 comments I listened to the 1991Joni Mitchell album 'Night Ride Home' for the first time today, not heard it before. One of the songs is 'Slouching Towards Bethlehem', based on Yeats' poem The Second Coming. I love the poem, and now the song also. Love Joni Mitchell.

message 12: by Hugh (new)

Hugh (bodachliath) | 666 comments Yeats seems to be quite popular with musicians - notably The Waterboys, firstly through their 80s version of the Stolen Child and more recently they did a whole album. I have heard The Lake Isle of Innisfree, The Song of Wandering Aengus and Down by the Salley Gardens set to music too.

message 13: by Nigeyb (new)

Nigeyb | 8445 comments Mod
I'm a big fan of The Waterboys and think their Yeats music is particularly fine

message 14: by Hugh (new)

Hugh (bodachliath) | 666 comments I forgot Jackie Leven's version of Mad as the Mist and Snow too (spoken word with music)

message 15: by Greg (new)

Greg | 131 comments Thanks Hugh, for the Waterboys on Yeats.
Sir Ralph Richardson narrates The Poetry of Blake, Songs of Innocence and Experience. It is on Spotify. I still have it on vinyl.

back to top