Monday, June 13, 2005

Happy Birthday Yeats!

Today is the birthday of William Butler Yeats who was born in Ireland 140 years ago. In his honor, here is my favorite poem by him:

The Lake Isle of Innisfree 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, a hive for the honey-bee; And live alone in the bee-loud glade. 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. I will arise and go now, for always night and day I hear lake water lapping with low sounds by the shore; While I stand on the roadway, or on the pavements grey, I hear it in the deep heart's core.
Admittedly, I have not read all of Yeats so there could be another favorite poem lurking out there, waiting. But this poem is so beutiful and haunting, there is so much longing. My favorite phrases? "bee-loud glade" I love that. And "peace comes dropping slow." That reminds me of laying in a hammock, strung between two giant trees while camping when I was a kid. Nothing to do but lay there and listen to the wind in the trees, which always sounded like running water to me, and the birds, the jays so bold they would take food out of your hand on the way to your mouth if you weren't careful, and the smell of the air, sharp and clean and so easy to breath. Did I say I love this poem?