Sunday, July 15, 2012

W.B. Yeats


I stumble as if drunk when I read Yeats. I become uncertain, perhaps confused of my knowledge and beliefs. He buffets me as in a wind storm. Unsteady, I must sit, re-gather my wits. Drink, not necessary, my mind already addled as if I “had one too many”. I name him the great enchanter.  His spirituality and imagination rooted in the agricultural, idyllic, mythical past of Ireland are applicable to all people of all countries.

No other poet plunged so deeply into themes of life and death, love and hate and
all the conundrums of man’s condition. He says all with magnetic imagination and power and often song-like rhythms propelling the reader deeper and deeper into the confusion of life.

He pined for the heroic past age. Life never fulfills its promises and dreams. He abhorred withering old age yet accepted mortality and always insisted on the power of the word and the imagination. Although he often wrote of erotic love and beauty, and his belief in mystical symbolism, he could be funny, physical and anti clerical as in his “Crazy Jane” poems. He was touched by and touches us all with “faerie” dust.

     “Wine comes in at the mouth

     And love comes in at the eye

     That’s all we shall know for truth

     Before we grow old and die”

-Elliot O. Lipchik

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