May Free Write
Like an alcoholic is attracted to the lip of a bottomless bottle with only a few drops left, for really he knows the bottle never could really empty, it simply can’t, or how a tobacco pipe smoker finds pleasure in little else than his meerschaum, I am have yet to find at least five things that give me more enjoyment then reading fine literature, poetry mostly. With that being said, I am completely and utterly unashamed of what I'm about to announce. When it comes to poets, no one is as fickle as I when it comes to who is their favorite. However there is one poet I cannot shake from my conscience the guilt I feel when I don't consider him my favorite. W.B. Yeats (the W.B. stands for William Butler, and I will not tolerate mistaking him for Keats!). This will not be a lecture on how I believe class and rich culture is going to the dogs, I've done that one so many times even I'm sick of it, though I certainly could. No, this blog will simply be to acknowledge the greatest Irish poet of all time.
W.B. Yeats (Last name pronounced ‘Yates’, yes I will now admit for the public to see that you were right Miss Transue) was born on June 13th, 1865 (I mean…he COULD have toughed it out and lived to be 146-year-old so I could have met him) in Sandymount, Dublin, Ireland and died at in 1939 at the age of 73 in Menton, France. He won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1923 ‘for his always inspired poetry, which in a highly artistic form gives expression to the spirit of a whole nation’. I’m not here though to acknowledge him by stating dry facts that anybody can look up on the Internet and find within two minutes (I just felt the need to incorporate that he won the Nobel Prize). I plan on appreciating by…well…being a slight fangirl.
The first poem I had ever read of his was one that I found in a book of the top 500 Poems of English Literature that I found rummaging through my father’s office in our upstairs one day and decided to take. I’m extremely glad I did to, it just looked so sad there collecting dust….It is also a poem I could quote by heart called ‘When You Are Old’,
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.
--William Butler Yeats
It was the most beautiful thing I had ever read in my life, and it did not fill me with pitiful envy like so many great works often do. It did one of the rarest things a writer can do to me. It only inspired me and made me feel warmth inside. It was something that hadn’t been done in years since I decided to take writing seriously.
SO IN CONCLUSION( (= )...my typical view on things that I love such as artists, bands, and writers (and yes, I know this is bad), is to keep them to my greedy self. I would be doing a great dishonor to Mr. Yeats if I continued to do so to him. I believe that he would want his voice to live on even years after his death, so I encourage all of you, if his poem more than tickled your fancy, you genuinely find fewer pleasures in life than reading fine literature, and you do not think you will soon cast his works aside like a month-old newspaper, read as many poems of his that you can. He was a wonderful man who wrote poetry that certainly was, ’always inspired poetry, which in a highly artistic form gives expression to the spirit of a whole nation’.