Sunday 4 March 2012

The Lake Isle Fellowship

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 


Sheila said...

Beautiful reflections. Love me some Yeats too.

Brian Miller said...

what a fresh take on this...and i love those moments...when all of a sudden it clicks and you know exactly what the poet was saying...and in that the beauty of the way they did...

Cloudia said...

Such a dear post. It warms me that you have such friendship with Happiness that she drops in unannounced. Or are you Sisters? For you too spread joy where you go-

Aloha from Honolulu
Comfort Spiral

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Mary Helen-Art Saves Lives said...

Thank you for the beautiful thoughts. Peace, Mary helen Fernandez Stewart

Unknown said...

Yeats was always a favorite, though I gravitated towards his later, 'crazier', poems enamored as I am with meaning. I certainly aprreciate a poet's love for another poet's work, especially when it resonates in the soul with such clarity and passion. I also know what you mean when you talk about a poem finally meaning something, its meaning somehow having eluded me for a long time. It's experiential for sure, brings you in contact with a way of seeing things that was not there before. A precious moment. Thank you for sharing that moment in such a memorable way at dverse.

ds said...

"for I have spread my dreams under your feet..." Thank you for your beautiful reflections on Yeats and this poem. Both are eternal favorites of mine.

asia said...

Happiness is truly a funny thing...
Your thoughts are inspiring as always! :)

Yoli said...

You my dear are an exquisite writer.

Ruth said...

How beautiful, my friend. Poetry is never lost, is it?


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Jillayne said...

I love that poem - I first discovered it years ago and it is a favourite. My new favourite poem is by Mary Oliver and has a similar sensibility... a gentle cadence that takes you in like the current of a rivver that bobs you along.
In high school we had to memorize many things but the one that comes to mind first begins "Slowly, silently, now the moon, walks the night in her silver shoon..."
I love made up words and I think that might be why I liked this one so much!

hyperCRYPTICal said...

You are a wonderful, thoughtful writer and your posts are a pleasure to read.

Anna :o]

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