Thursday, 20 December 2007

W. B. Yeats

somone had a birthday recently and as it i missed it then, this belatedly, is for you. it comes from yeats' play the beauty of emer and i'm always surprised it's not better known

‘A woman’s beauty is like a white’

A woman’s beauty is like a white
Frail bird, like a white sea-bird alone
At daybreak after stormy night
Between two furrows upon the ploughed land:
A sudden storm, and it was thrown
Between dark furrows upon the ploughed land.
How many centuries spent
The sedentary soul
In toils of measurement
Beyond hearing or seeing,
Or Archimedes’ guess,
To raise into being
That loveliness?

A strange, unservicable thing,
A fragile, exquisite, pale shell,
That the vast troubled waters bring
To the loud sands before day has broken.
The storm arose and suddenly fell
Amid the dark before day had broken
What death? what discipline?
What bonds no man could unbind,
Being imagined within
The labyrinth of the mind,
What pursuing or fleeing,
What wounds, what bloody press,
Dragged in to being
This loveliness?


Anonymous said...

poetry!!! beautiful poetry!!

read this yesterday. an oasis of calm in shattered days is poetry. i'm so grateful for all poets good, great and dire.

this is so gorgeous it deserves many rereads. 'i will make sure it gets what it deserves' lol what a lovely pledge to make eh

Sorlil said...

this is stunning, my reading of Yeats is embarrassingly lacking and this has definitely put me in the mood to read more.