Subscribe: by Email | in Reader

Beautiful Lofty Things -- William Butler Yeats

Guest poem submitted by Sunil Iyengar:
(Poem #511) Beautiful Lofty Things
 Beautiful lofty things; O'Leary's noble head;
 My father upon the Abbey stage, before him a raging crowd.
 "This Land of Saints", and then as the applause died out,
 "Of plaster Saints"; his beautiful mischievous head thrown back.
 Standish O'Grady supporting himself between the tables
 Speaking to a drunken audience high nonsensical words;
 Augusta Gregory seated at her great ormolu table
 Her eightieth winter approaching; "Yesterday he threatened my life,
 I told him that nightly from six to seven I sat at this table
 The blinds drawn up"; Maud Gonne at Howth station waiting a train,
 Pallas Athena in that straight back and arrogant head;
 All the Olympians; a thing never known again.
-- William Butler Yeats
In light of the recent Larkin poem somebody contributed, "MCMXIV," I think
Yeats' last line might be taken as a precedent for the English poet's
conclusion, "Never such innocence again." I can't say whether "Beautiful Lofty
Things" had a direct bearing on the Larkin poem (both lyrics cap a charming
catalogue of reminiscences with the rueful "never again"), but if somebody can
dig up Larkin's 1973 Oxford Anthology of English Verse, perhaps he or she can
settle the question. I am confident, however, that Larkin featured other late
Yeats poems in his collection; these are often elegaic pieces about W.B.'s Irish
associates. (For example, I recall Larkin's inclusion of "In Memory of Eva
Gore-Booth and Con Markievicz" and "The Municipal Gallery, Revisited.")

But focus on "Beautiful Lofty Things" (circa 1938) for its plainspoken evocation
of the characters, scenes and events that mattered most to the poet. Or it may
not be that they "mattered most," necessarily, but at any rate the images assail
him like a torrent, line for line, ending with the solitary vision of his
unrequited love, Maude Gonne. Even the act of "waiting a train" seems to echo
the poet's longing at the end of life.

Other images: John O'Leary was an Irish patriot (1830-1907), mentioned in an
earlier Yeats poem, "September 1913," with the refrain: "Romantic Ireland's dead
and gone;/It's with O'Leary in the grave." The poet's father, J.B. Yeats, is
quoted as defending John Synge's play, "The Playboy of the Western World,"
before a jeering mob at Abbey Theatre. (Consult the collected letters between
father and son for a profile of this remarkable man -- a painter and lecturer
who died in New York .) Standish O'Grady was an Irish historian and novelist.
Augusta Gregory, herself a playwright and folklorist, was connected with Yeats
and the Celtic Revival from its earliest days. She died in 1932. According to
Yeats editor Richard J. Finneran, the quote within the poem refers to Lady
Gregory's response when threatened by a tenant during the Irish Civil War.

The references to "Pallas Athena" and "All the Olympians" apotheosize this
gallery of heroes into Greek divinities. It is not often appreciated how
seriously Yeats took friendship, but we have only to cite his oft-quoted verses
from another gallery ("Municipal"):

"Think where man's glory most begins and ends
And say my glory was I had such friends."

Sunil Iyengar.

20 comments: ( or Leave a comment )

Anonymous said...

We stumbled over here coming from a different web
page and thought I should check things out. I like what I see so i am just following you.
Look forward to checking out your web page for a second time.

Here is my site :: cellulite treatment cream

Unknown said...

Regardless if anyone implement an extra cover involving mascara for the additional demanding search you'll find zero clumps as well as louis vuitton replica flakes then when their time for it to take away your current comprise, the idea occurs off of with virtually no inconvenience. What on earth is in addition valuable can be who's also comes in about three hues, Noir Dark-colored, Noir Brun, along with chanel replica Noir Obscur so that you'll be able to move the idea way up whenever you similar to with no limiting in class as well as louis vuitton replica conclude even though it also does in size, period, snuggle along with outlined lash separating. This specific Chanel mascara in addition occurs as being a water resistant variation. Cautious negatives? The one negative aspect on this mascara, if you need to visualize it as being a negative aspect can be that it must be considered one of gucci replica your more costly involving mascara's offered. In all-around $40 PEOPLE us dollars as well as £25 United kingdom fat it can be far more when compared with various other mascara alternate options.

Unknown said...

This is such a great post, and was thinking much the same myself. BEST SEO SERVICES | TAC Casino Night | Another great update.

indonesia lens said...

beautiful post, thanks for sharing
Indonesia Lens

Anonymous said...

Seberat apapun beban masalah yang kamu hadapi saat ini, percayalah bahwa semua itu tidak pernah melebihi batas kemampuan kamu.

Teka-teki said...

enjoy read this article

Post a Comment