Posts Tagged ‘William Butler Yeats’

“How do you account for Ezra?,” W. B. Yeats once famously asked. Indeed, how do you? How account for the man who edited the Waste Land, brought the classical Chinese poets into English (see this stunning translation), and who wrote a foot-thick epic studded with lines like these?

A blown husk that is finished/but the light sings eternal/a pale flare over marshes/where the salt hay whispers to tide’s change

You can’t really. (And that’s not even mentioning Mussolini, tiger cages, treason trials). But there’s a new Selected out from Faber, and it looks good. The accounting continues.

After Long Silence

Posted: Saturday, November 6, 2010 in Poems, Poetry
Tags: , ,

Speech after long silence; it is right,
All other lovers being estranged or dead,
Unfriendly lamplight hid under its shade,
The curtains drawn upon unfriendly night,
That we descant and yet again descant
Upon the supreme theme of Art and Song:
Bodily decrepitude is wisdom; young
We loved each other and were ignorant.

William Butler Yeats, 1933