One of the pleasures of poetry is the way a line returns to you, unexpectedly. There you are, a schoolchild, being forced to learn of a poet's strange intent -
'I will arise and go now, and go to Innisfree,
And a small cabin build there, of clay and wattles made;
Nine bean rows will I have there' - why? Why will he have nine bean rows? And why wattles? What were wattles to me? But learn the lines I did. And now, as I curl up on a rainy Sunday, and watch the green grass of home slowly soak up the new March rain, as I wait eagerly for spring to unfurl, I understand Yeats...
'And I shall have some peace there, for peace comes dropping slow,
Dropping from the veils of the morning to where the cricket sings;
There midnight's all a-glimmer, and noon a purple glow,
And evening full of the linnet's wings.'
Yeats was in London, longing for Lough Gill, like any exile in a home away from home, like any lover separated from their beloved...
'While I stand on the roadway, or on the pavements grey,
I hear it in the deep heart's core.'
I didn't call him consciously to mind, but what Yeats heard all those years ago, echoes now in me as his words resound with each drip-drip dropping of peaceful rain today. Happiness is a funny thing - sometimes it feels just as sudden as unhappiness. And all you can give thanks for is that the path has been trodden before, and with great care, by a fellow poet who understands your dreams.
image by digital artist Walter Smith for dverse
William Butler Yeats by John Singer Sargent, 1908