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The Scholars -- William Butler Yeats

My thanks to Tom Richards for suggesting today's poem:
(Poem #1482) The Scholars
 Bald heads, forgetful of their sins,
 Old, learned, respectable bald heads
 Edit and annotate the lines
 That young men, tossing on their beds,
 Rhymed out in love's despair
 To flatter beauty's ignorant ear.

 All shuffle there, all cough in ink;
 All wear the carpet with their shoes;
 All think what other people think;
 All know the man their neighbour knows.
 Lord, what would they say
 Did their Catullus walk their way?
-- William Butler Yeats
In "Letter From Lesbia" (Minstrels Poem #1467), Dorothy Parker pokes
gentle fun at the self-absorption of the poet. But if a poet is
self-absorbed and (hence) uninteresting, what does that make the critic
who spends his days analyzing his poems?

thomas.

PS. Tom writes that he found this poem in "Poem for the Day: 366 poems,
old and new, worth learning by heart", ed. Nicholas Albery; he further
comments that "it's only trumped by The Rattle Bag out of the poetry
anthologies I've read". With that strong a recommendation I'll
definitely have to keep an eye out for it; thanks again, Tom!

[Minstrels Links]

The Catullus theme:
Poem #1463, Song Five -- Gaius Valerius Catullus
Poem #1464, From Catullus 5 -- Sir Walter Raleigh
Poem #1465, Come, My Celia -- Ben Jonson
Poem #1466, My Sweetest Lesbia -- Thomas Campion
Poem #1467, From A Letter From Lesbia -- Dorothy Parker

[Administrivia]

Earlier in the day you may have received a suspicious email titled
"Notify about using the e-mail account", or some such phrase. This was a
fake, sent by someone (or something) who had forged Sitaram's email
address. Fortunately, we've configured our list-serve to strip out all
attachments, which means that no harm was done, and that you, Gentle
Reader, needn't worry about viruses and the like.

53 comments: ( or Leave a comment )

Alan S Kornheiser said...

Nice poem. It's discussed in the new Yeats biography, which should be
required reading for the list.

Not my topic, though. I think that the false document you mention is a
phishing expedition, not a virus, and anyone going to the site mentioned
will be asked for personal data or will be somehow identified as a target.
Perhaps a warning to not visit the site whose URL appears on the email?

Alan

Beth Pastore said...

There is a typo in the last line of The Scholars.
It should read "Did their Catullus walk that way,"not "their way"

أبل said...

yes Beth Pastore you are right i notice this typo

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