Yeats

Why is Yeats always giving these ominous warnings not to look too closely or too deeply into the vision his work discloses? for example:

From The Hosting of the Sidhe:
>If any should look on our rushing band
>we come between him and the deed of his hand
>we come between him and the hope of his heart

From The Happy Shepherd
>Then nowise worship dusty deeds,
>Nor seek, for this is also sooth,
>To hunger fiercely after truth,
>Lest all thy toiling only breeds
>New dreams, new dreams; there is no truth
>Saving in thine own heart.
If we ought not hunger after truth, and truth is in the heart, it clearly follows that we should not look too deeply into the heart.

From The Grey Rock
>We should be dazed and terror-struck,
>If we but saw in dreams that room,
>Those wine-drenched eyes, and curse our luck
>That emptied all our days to come.

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  1. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    From At The Hawk's Well:

    "There falls a curse
    On all who have gazed in her unmoistened eyes
    So get you gone while you have that proud step
    And confident voice, for not a man alive
    Has so much luck that he can play with it.
    Those that have long to live should fear her most,
    The old are cursed already. That curse may be
    Never to win a woman's love and keep it ;
    Or always to mix hatred in the love ;
    Or it may be that she will kill your children,
    That you will find them, their throats torn and bloody,
    Or you will be so maddened that you kill them
    With your own hand.

  2. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    Yeats considers all his years of occultism a fruitless wasted search, "unconquerable delusion," in one of his poems. He settles into Christianity, from what his work would suggest, but not in any real sense. He ultimately, ironically, ends life as a mere institutionalist—shut out from the spiritual, attached to the material—based on his later poems. I think the how's and why's are all in his work, but I don't recommend anyone read Yeats. For a Christian with a poetic eye, too painful a story; for a non-Christian, too full of snares.

    • 3 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      Is Yeats really this depressive? Surely there's some ultimate, higher, beautiful truth he comes to?

      • 3 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        His late poetry suggests the purpose he finds for poetry is essentially mundane and tethered to human affairs. In my view, Yeats wants to protect "gentle, sensitive minds," from following in his footsteps because he believes they will merely develop a yearning which can never be gratified.

        • 3 weeks ago
          Anonymous

          But isn't the Sailing to Byzantium a late poem, of a triumphant mystical nature, or am I missing the subtleties? It's odd to me that Yeats would be so disappointed in mysticism, it seems to show a certain superficiality, as if he had never found any secret or truth underneath anything, had always taken mysticism literally, like he wanted a physical demonstration of mysticism in front of him.

        • 3 weeks ago
          Anonymous

          Filtered. Yeats never repudiates the spiritual adventure, and you're interpreting the difficulty of the later poetry as nihilism... Like all occultists he speaks in veils upon veils. Read the statues, the tower, a woman young and old, a dialogue of self and soul again.

          Is Michael robartes the mysterious one who discloses all that he seeks? Robartes certainly seems to be the minister of I itiations into the mysteries of magic.

          As said, the man didn't find God in what he did.

          What poets would you recommend for a Christian with a poetic eye? I've read Milton, Herbert, Donne, and Hopkins

          Ernest Dowson, Lionel Johnson, Joseph Plunkett

          • 3 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            Okay, I have a break in the responsibilities of the day.
            >Filtered, etc.,.
            You're mistaken. It's through the symbolism of his poetry that he reveals his meaning. At times, he's quite plain. At others, like in Byzantium, he delights in veil, but the ultimate meaning is not one of occultic reaffirmations, despite of pagan mystic symbolism, it is perfectly mundane. Nor is Byzantium alone in this. As a segue into a summary of my views on Yeats, I'll speak to the "one who would disclose all that I seek," idea. That quote comes from my favorite Yeats' poem, Ego Dominus Tuus (I Am Your Master/Lord). That poem is written as a conversation between Hic and Ille, "This" and "That." There are several ways in which the this and that can be viewed of course, but the most straightforward way is viewing them both as Yeats. When That asks This why he goes on tracing Micheal Robartes symbols upon the sand, the reason given is, "I seek myself and not an image." The person who can disclose all that Yeats' seeks, is, as Yeats' knows, a non-entity. This person does not exist. "All that is handled least, least looked upon," that is what Yeats' seeks. Completeness of Self. Perfection. An Actualized and Idealized Essence. There is no such person. There is no such body of knowledge. The yearning of the Artist for greater and greater levels of actualization is a hunger which grows the more it is sated.

          • 3 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            >Completeness of Self. Perfection. An Actualized and Idealized Essence. There is no such person. There is no such body of knowledge
            The Golden Dawn believed in the mythical Christian Rosenkreuz, who "lies buried in his tomb." The knowledge hidden in Rosenkreuz's tomb was supposed to allow Man to see things as Adam did before the fall, and to disclose the complete knowledge of all arts and sciences in a single book. The purpose of the great work which the postulant undertakes is to move closer to this gnosis through the practice of ceremonial magic. Obviously if you're a dogmatic christian you see all this as vanity and nonsense, but it should be clear that it's different than nihilistic materialism or a repudiation of the supernatural. Like Keats, Yeats seems to believe that the moods and the imagination are literally divine visitations. The "romantic world of feelings and loves" the artist cultivates is not a chain and a noose, not a hedonistic toy, but rather a temple to the gods, for one who professes this faith. Yeats left "faith and pride" to the one who would walk in his footsteps, like Oisin had when he repudiated st patrick.

            I love ego dominus tuus too, but your selective quoting of it obscures its dialogical nature. for example, the section you just quoted "I seek myself and not an image" is an apparent paradox.
            >Ille. By the help of an image
            >I call to my own opposite, summon all
            >That I have handled least, least looked upon.
            >Hic. And I would find myself and not an image.
            The "anti-self" is at the same time the perfect likeness. I dont want to be too conclusive here but one way to reconcile this paradox is through metaphysics, an idea of reincarnation and cosmic cycles.

            Ill end with the conclusion to Ego Dominus Tuus, because it's one of the most moving expressions of the faith of an occult seeker that I've read:

            "Ille. Because I seek an image, n-not a book.
            Those men that in their writings are most wise,
            Own nothing but their blind, stupefied hearts.
            I call to the mysterious one who yet
            Shall walk the wet sands by the edge of the stream
            And look most like me, being indeed my double,
            And prove of all imaginable things
            The most unlike, being my anti-self,
            And, standing by these characters, disclose
            All that I seek; and whisper it as though
            He were afraid the birds, who cry aloud
            Their momentary cries before it is dawn,
            Would carry it away to blasphemous men."

          • 3 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            Yes, I know all about it. I've said what I said in spite of that knowledge. As I said, I walked a similar path to Yeats once. Don't fall into the trap of imagining you can box up the thoughts of the Christian into the category of "dogmatic" (a dogma you do not understand, really, anyway) and toss it aside. We all have a past, and our human talents, God-given, do not disappear the moment we receive Christ—they grow magnificently.

            I already reconciled it. You quoted the moment in fact. You're just so disposed to reject my ideas you're not giving them proper thought. It is a problem which occurs when you're too emotionally invested into a particular outcome.

            That ending is only occultic to one who wants to see it as such. Reread the Dante portion. You didn't quite get it.

            [...]
            Read Plunkett you c**ts:

            The Dark Way

            Rougher than Death the road I choose
            Yet shall my feet not walk astray,
            Though dark, my way I shall not lose
            For this way is the darkest way.

            Set but a limit to the loss
            And something shall at last abide
            The blood-stained beams that form the cross
            The thorns that crown the crucified;

            But who shall lose all things in One,
            Shut out from heaven and the pit
            Shall lose the darkness and the sun
            The finite and the infinite;

            And who shall see in one small flower
            The chariots and the thrones of might
            Shall be in peril from that hour
            Of blindness and the endless night;

            And who shall hear in one short name
            Apocalyptic thunders seven
            His heart shall flicker like a flame
            Twixt hell’s gates and the gates of heaven.

            For I have seen your body’s grace,
            The miracle of the flowering rod,
            And in the beauty of your face,
            The glory of the face of God,

            And I have heard the thunderous roll
            Clamour from heights of prophecy
            Your splendid name, and from my soul
            Uprose the clouds of minstrelsy.

            Now I have chosen in the dark
            The desolate way to walk alone
            Yet strive to keep alive one spark
            Of your known grace and grace unknown.

            And when I leave you lest my love
            Should seal your spirit’s ark with clay,
            Spread your bright wings, O shining dove,—
            But my way is the darkest way.

            I will. Gladly.

          • 3 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            In fact, because I love that poem so much, I want to be clear on the ending.

            That ending is the exact opposite of the "faith of an occult seeker." Exactly opposite. It is a declaration, that despite of the uselessness of mystic inquiry, despite that every objection Ille raised was true, despite Ille's revelation that the Artist is condemned to a doomed quest which can only result in his own despair, that Yeats will press on diligently and hopefully as an artist. With what motivation? That is what he reveals near the end of his life in Sailing to Byzantium and Byzantium. It is a similar self-affirmative vow as at the ends of Aengus and Fisherman.

          • 3 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            Okay, I have a break in the responsibilities of the day.
            >Filtered, etc.,.
            You're mistaken. It's through the symbolism of his poetry that he reveals his meaning. At times, he's quite plain. At others, like in Byzantium, he delights in veil, but the ultimate meaning is not one of occultic reaffirmations, despite of pagan mystic symbolism, it is perfectly mundane. Nor is Byzantium alone in this. As a segue into a summary of my views on Yeats, I'll speak to the "one who would disclose all that I seek," idea. That quote comes from my favorite Yeats' poem, Ego Dominus Tuus (I Am Your Master/Lord). That poem is written as a conversation between Hic and Ille, "This" and "That." There are several ways in which the this and that can be viewed of course, but the most straightforward way is viewing them both as Yeats. When That asks This why he goes on tracing Micheal Robartes symbols upon the sand, the reason given is, "I seek myself and not an image." The person who can disclose all that Yeats' seeks, is, as Yeats' knows, a non-entity. This person does not exist. "All that is handled least, least looked upon," that is what Yeats' seeks. Completeness of Self. Perfection. An Actualized and Idealized Essence. There is no such person. There is no such body of knowledge. The yearning of the Artist for greater and greater levels of actualization is a hunger which grows the more it is sated.

            Yeats' journey as a poet, as I see it through his work, is that of a young man full of patriotism and love for his fellow Irishmen, enamored of their history, enamored of the mystic tradition, dreaming of being The Irish Bard (most embodied by Song of Wandering Aengus, to me), who, by middle life, has cast off the idyllic image of his country and its inhabitants without casting off his love for the idea (The Fisherman); his loose love of myth turns to a Blakean occultic searching which becomes more and more akin to Blake the older he gets until the point of dissipation (various exemplify), which by Per Silica Amicae is already showing through. By his late life, the purpose of poetry and religion for Yeats have become hylical in the sense that the "spiritual" force is human in origin, though indecipherable, and its purpose is human. Religion is the Chapel of Yearning for Eternal Essences—the driving force of all mystic thought, and in this age, to Yeats, is most exemplified by the Church. It is an Homage to human ideals, which for Yeats always take on mystic and artistic association. However, the sincere practice or belief in any form of mysticism is long since dead for him. The boy is gone. Whatever lingering yearning or hope he may have for the existence of such things is categorized, as I pointed out, as "unconquerable delusion," and while it is Christianity in which he makes his home, he makes the house of his soul in Poetry, which for him, is intrinsically pagan. He enjoys dichotomizing, and one of the dichotomies of his indulgence is Sorrow, Humility, Remorse for Christianity, and Passion, Ecstasy, Inspiration, for Greco-Roman paganism which Yeats roots in the Egyptian empire. This polarity of spirit represents cyclical and internal conflict within the individual and society. Yeats plays with this theme in many ways—the "Magnus Annum," the tree of middle life in Vacillation, the dancer caught between two statues, etc.,.

            My dear, poor, sweet, Yeats, whom I bless with all the love I can, walked a path quite similar to my own, but upon the point of faith in Christ, failed and stopped short. In my opinion, which I of course, have formed of his own work, fell short for attachment to the sensual and material—not in the way which is common among men, of sex, drugs, and overt pleasures, but those sensualities which can "light upon the gentle, sensitive mind," and cause people to reverence certain sorts of things and make within themselves a romantic world of feelings and loves which can discreetly become a chain and a noose to bind one to the material world.

            I've never explained my views of Yeats before to anyone save my own mother, I think. It's a bit difficult to put into words and with as many references as would be formally necessary, would take on immense length. Whether in the end you see and believe of him what I do, that's your own journey. For my part, my journey with Yeats is at a stage of mourning.

    • 3 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      >I don't recommend anyone read Yeats
      kys

      • 3 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        No. Get over yourself.

        But isn't the Sailing to Byzantium a late poem, of a triumphant mystical nature, or am I missing the subtleties? It's odd to me that Yeats would be so disappointed in mysticism, it seems to show a certain superficiality, as if he had never found any secret or truth underneath anything, had always taken mysticism literally, like he wanted a physical demonstration of mysticism in front of him.

        You're missing the sequel, Byzantium, written two years later, if memory serves, and you're missing other works. StB isn't mystically triumphal. Yeats merely retains his love of mystical symbolism without any sincere belief.

        • 3 weeks ago
          Anonymous

          >Yeats merely retains his love of mystical symbolism without any sincere belief.
          You're making the poem sound utterly pointless. Why would he write such a thing if it didn't have spiritual life for him?

          • 3 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            >No. Get over yourself.
            no u, gay.

            "The rhetorician would deceive his neighbours,
            The sentimentalist himself; while art
            Is but a vision of reality.
            What portion in the world can the artist have
            Who has awakened from the common dream
            But dissipation and despair?"

            Yeats' own words. And what do you think, little children? Did he find the one who would disclose all that he sought? No. He did not.

            If you doubt my take on Yeats, the solution is simple: read it all yourself. Dwell on it yourself. Why should you be surprised at this outcome? "As wisdom increases, so does sorrow." It's time to grow up.

          • 3 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            I don't like your really smug attitude, especially since you're lording it over someone who has read relatively little of him and is simply inquiring as to his beliefs. It seems you think Yeats (apparent) failure to discern mystical truth is representative of all mystics and artist-mystics, and as such people should already know the overall conclusion of Yeats' intellectual development. Which is a very small-minded view if you do have it.

          • 3 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            Don't care; didn't read. Sorry. I'm not looking to argue with someone whose primary motive is not knowledge, but winning an argument because they have an emotional interest in besting me.

            As said, the man didn't find God in what he did.

            What poets would you recommend for a Christian with a poetic eye? I've read Milton, Herbert, Donne, and Hopkins

            Filtered. Yeats never repudiates the spiritual adventure, and you're interpreting the difficulty of the later poetry as nihilism... Like all occultists he speaks in veils upon veils. Read the statues, the tower, a woman young and old, a dialogue of self and soul again.

            Is Michael robartes the mysterious one who discloses all that he seeks? Robartes certainly seems to be the minister of I itiations into the mysteries of magic.

            [...]
            Ernest Dowson, Lionel Johnson, Joseph Plunkett

            I'm busy atm, but if this thread is still around when I come back I'll post. I will say, no. It is not Robartes, nor did Yeats even mean for it to be, or think it could be, Robartes by the time he's using that language.

          • 3 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            >no. It is not Robartes
            what about in rosa alchemia where robartes literaally gives an initiation into the order of the alchemical rose, an initiatic organization based on the golden dawn, I suppose, where the narrator learns the secrets of the magic of the image? The techniques of magic desribed in rosa alchemia are also described in yeats autobiography in connection with Mathers... So what about at the end of the tower, where yeats says that people like Mathers and Florence Emery (both members of the golden dawn, dead when he wrote it) were the ideal students of his work? They could remain rapt in mystical contemplation while the whole world burned around them. Their ghosts "drink the wine-breath, while we drink the whole wine."

            Yeats said that the mystical life is the center of all that he does and all that he writes. He was a member of the golden dawn and its successor organizations for most of his life, and clearly believed in and practiced ceremonial magic (see the text Is the Golden Dawn to Remain an Magical Order). He also said that his whole poetry is just a repeat of the argument between oisin and st patrick... so its a heroic affirmation of pagan faith against the challenge of an effete dogmatism. The faith became more complex over yeats' life, and so did the challenge to it, but he never left it behind...

            Show me one quote where yeats suggests that he's abandoned the supernatural. And don't quote Ego Dominus Tuus again because that poem is a dialogue, focused on raising questions and adumbratinng the theory of spiritual masks, and it ends with a call to the spiritual adventure anyway.

            (pic is a poem yeats wrote for a golden dawn initiation).

          • 3 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            Rosa Alchemica is a favorite short story of mine, but no. It is not Robartes. You're looking at what's happening, but you need to feed upon the meaning. Do you understand Hic and Ille's conversation on Dante? Do you understand Ille's criticism of Keats? Even the poem you've just posted is a yearning for a sort of death which brings revelation. A revelation Yeats comes to realize is not to be found in the occult.

            I've already said where else. It's in his late work, predominantly. Byzantium is a particular example. Rife with occultic symbolism, yet rejecting the occult for the mundane. Wisdom is another example, and there are others. You seem very keen to view Yeats as an occultist, which makes me think you are one, for his poetry loses no potency for a lack of sincere occult belief. As for his Golden Dawn fellows being ideal students, I'm certain he once may have thought so, perhaps even continued to think it. They possessed a similar nature and the symbolic knowledge to appreciate his work. Rosa Alchemica ends with his leaving the occult, you may recall, and ultimately portrays the fading revelries of the initiates as a drunken submergence which hollows out the participant over time. Yeats was not naive enough to believe a human being had the capacity to disclose what he sought, that is why Ego Dominus Tuus still shows him in the deluded search years after his involvement with Robartes, nor is Yeats naïve enough to believe immortal spiritual beings would disclose all that he sought, even if they could.

          • 3 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            I don't see how you could read Byzantium as a rejection of the occult (the golden smithies are the inexhaustible power of imagination, which is the link between the human mind and the body of god, like in blake)... but i guess with yeats it's one of those cases where "both read the bible day and night/ but thou read black where I read white."

            What about "those horsemen, those women/ complexion and form prove superhuman," or that girl whose face hasn't changed since before the world was made? Did you ever meet someone so beautiful it seems like the world was made just for them? Where you'd sacrifice your whole life just to touch them one more time. I guess you've seen those riders, too, charging in the dawn, trampling the world to pieces... And you've renounced these visions for the doctrines of the peasant gospellers?

          • 3 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            Okay, coming back, I have read. As for opinions on my attitude, I don't really know how much I care, honestly. You aren't someone in my life, so your opinion doesn't carry much weight. I speak with confidence, always. I'm used to being taken for smug or arrogant. I'm unfazed by this. Any ideas which I assert, I can back with informed argument. I am always open to defeat. Defeat in argument is a victory for the defeated. There is no worse or more impossible fate than to be an unconquerable human intelligence. As for mystics, I don't put any stock in them, per se. They are my kin, in that I once walked their foolish path, but I regard it as foolishness and toying with death. I love the mystic-Artist probably more than any other type of person on earth, but I love them as a brother who longs to see his sibling live up to the high worth of his blood—a high worth which mysticism can but mar and disgrace. Man was made for higher things than the toying of mystics and I'll not pretend any different for anyone's feelings. Rather that I should hurt those sentimental feelings to the point of their utter death, that they mystic-Poet might wake up and become the divine-Poet in and for Christ. "Sentimentality is, at base, feeling which is untrue to its object." A favorite quote of mine from the philosopher William Barret.

            In case it wasn't fully clear, I consider the "mystical truth" to be this: Mere Sensuality. Spiritual truth will not be found in mysticism, rather, spirit will find itself disoriented, deluded, and led astray by intraction into Sense.

            This is not an attack on you. You seem quite nice. That's why I've mollified my bristled attitude just enough to give a real reply. I don't claim any Christ-likeness which should make me attractive, but I will say that at least I desire for your good and the good of everyone here.

            As said, the man didn't find God in what he did.

            What poets would you recommend for a Christian with a poetic eye? I've read Milton, Herbert, Donne, and Hopkins

            >Christian recs
            Would that I could, anon. I am searching for them myself. What I find more often is hidden Satanisms or else childish poking at Christ. If you have any poetic talent, please do hone it, and set it to task to oppose the intelligence of our wayward poets for their own good.

          • 3 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            The thing is, mysticism is such a widely divergent thing, it's not all wearing robes and pointing wands and such poppywiener. The mysticism of a Holderlin is real and true, it's not so foolish that it expects a literal magic show in front of it. It's already satisfied its goal in its own existence, its based upon that hidden truth. All true artist-mystics find it, meanwhile Yeats, while a great artist, seems utterly fraudulent as far as his mystical insights go. The separation between mysticism and divinity seems to only exist for those who only ever wanted mysticism to be a silly game. Hell, the entire tradition of classical music is spirit comprehended through sense.

            I just think mysticism is as wide as existence itself, it can't exactly be pigeonholed.

          • 3 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            Alan Moore has an interesting perspective on the occult.

          • 3 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            >If you doubt my take on Yeats, the solution is simple: read it all yourself. Dwell on it yourself. Why should you be surprised at this outcome? "As wisdom increases, so does sorrow." It's time to grow up.
            cringe

          • 3 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            And why shouldn't you cringe, being what you are?

          • 3 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            >I know what you are but what am I?
            cringe again

          • 3 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            That's not what it meant at all. Not at all. And it was a Yeats reference, for fun.

          • 3 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            I often write poems based on experiences I remember that I don’t relate to anymore.

        • 3 weeks ago
          Anonymous

          >No. Get over yourself.
          no u, gay.

    • 3 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      As said, the man didn't find God in what he did.

      What poets would you recommend for a Christian with a poetic eye? I've read Milton, Herbert, Donne, and Hopkins

      • 3 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        Okay, coming back, I have read. As for opinions on my attitude, I don't really know how much I care, honestly. You aren't someone in my life, so your opinion doesn't carry much weight. I speak with confidence, always. I'm used to being taken for smug or arrogant. I'm unfazed by this. Any ideas which I assert, I can back with informed argument. I am always open to defeat. Defeat in argument is a victory for the defeated. There is no worse or more impossible fate than to be an unconquerable human intelligence. As for mystics, I don't put any stock in them, per se. They are my kin, in that I once walked their foolish path, but I regard it as foolishness and toying with death. I love the mystic-Artist probably more than any other type of person on earth, but I love them as a brother who longs to see his sibling live up to the high worth of his blood—a high worth which mysticism can but mar and disgrace. Man was made for higher things than the toying of mystics and I'll not pretend any different for anyone's feelings. Rather that I should hurt those sentimental feelings to the point of their utter death, that they mystic-Poet might wake up and become the divine-Poet in and for Christ. "Sentimentality is, at base, feeling which is untrue to its object." A favorite quote of mine from the philosopher William Barret.

        In case it wasn't fully clear, I consider the "mystical truth" to be this: Mere Sensuality. Spiritual truth will not be found in mysticism, rather, spirit will find itself disoriented, deluded, and led astray by intraction into Sense.

        This is not an attack on you. You seem quite nice. That's why I've mollified my bristled attitude just enough to give a real reply. I don't claim any Christ-likeness which should make me attractive, but I will say that at least I desire for your good and the good of everyone here.

        [...]
        >Christian recs
        Would that I could, anon. I am searching for them myself. What I find more often is hidden Satanisms or else childish poking at Christ. If you have any poetic talent, please do hone it, and set it to task to oppose the intelligence of our wayward poets for their own good.

        Read Plunkett you c**ts:

        The Dark Way

        Rougher than Death the road I choose
        Yet shall my feet not walk astray,
        Though dark, my way I shall not lose
        For this way is the darkest way.

        Set but a limit to the loss
        And something shall at last abide
        The blood-stained beams that form the cross
        The thorns that crown the crucified;

        But who shall lose all things in One,
        Shut out from heaven and the pit
        Shall lose the darkness and the sun
        The finite and the infinite;

        And who shall see in one small flower
        The chariots and the thrones of might
        Shall be in peril from that hour
        Of blindness and the endless night;

        And who shall hear in one short name
        Apocalyptic thunders seven
        His heart shall flicker like a flame
        Twixt hell’s gates and the gates of heaven.

        For I have seen your body’s grace,
        The miracle of the flowering rod,
        And in the beauty of your face,
        The glory of the face of God,

        And I have heard the thunderous roll
        Clamour from heights of prophecy
        Your splendid name, and from my soul
        Uprose the clouds of minstrelsy.

        Now I have chosen in the dark
        The desolate way to walk alone
        Yet strive to keep alive one spark
        Of your known grace and grace unknown.

        And when I leave you lest my love
        Should seal your spirit’s ark with clay,
        Spread your bright wings, O shining dove,—
        But my way is the darkest way.

  3. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    where to start with yeats bros?

    • 3 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      first read the wanderings of oisin. its like an overture for the rest of his literary works. then just read the collected poems through from page 1 like a novel. You'll gradually pick up more of the context as you go, and the mood of the more personal poems will still shine even if you don't know the occasion for them.

      If you havent read much poetry you could start by reading his collected plays too. They can just be read like short stories and they introduce many of the themes that he develops in his poems, stories, and essays.

    • 3 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      if you're in a werther-esque mood, blighted with unfulfilled desire and desolate passion, you'll love The Wind Among the Reeds and you could maybe start with that book. But definitely don't skip The Wanderings of Oisin. Even though most modern versions of yeats poems put it at the end with the other narrative poems, Yeats wanted it at the start, because he thought it was an ideal introduction to the themes and questions raised in his work.

  4. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    have a bumṕ

  5. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    Interesting perspectives in this thread but I want I reiterate that it would be insane for someone not to read Yeats because of what they’ve read here. The richness of his poetry, some of the last genuine lyric poetry written in English before the eclipse of modernism while keeping one eye on it when it becomes contemporaneous, is absolutely not the be missed for anyone who cares about literature

    • 3 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      indeed

  6. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    Do you need to be into mysticism to like Yeats?

    • 3 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      no, i dont think so. a lot of academics and critics who clearly love yeats treat his belief in the occult and the supernatural as basically an embarrasment. Auden is the most famous example of this kind of criticism, and his poem about Yeats' death is an excellent expression of the struggle to celebrate Yeats' poetic gifts while rejecting his beliefs.

      • 3 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        That's nice to hear. Which medieval irish tales would you say are the most important to get his works? The Tain? I heard he engages with it as a form of mythology pretty seriously, like other poets do with greco-roman myth.

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