W.B. Yeats ~ 149 Years On

Rosa 'Fellowship'

William Butler Yeats was born on June 13th, 1865 and I can’t let this day go by without honouring the man whose poetry is fundamentally knitted into my everyday life.

I have no idea if other people have a poet whose words, lines and poems are so deeply embedded that they automatically spring forth like as if  predictive thought was somehow switched on.

I just have to glimpse the sun or the moon and it’s:

And walk among long dappled grass,

And pluck till time and times are done

The silver apples of the moon,

The golden apples of the sun.

(from The Song of Wandering Aengus by W.B. Yeats)

October, which is my birth month, always, always, always evokes thoughts of  The Wild Swans at Coole:

‘The trees are in their autumn beauty,
The woodland paths are dry,
Under the October twilight the water
Mirrors a still sky;
Upon the brimming water among the stones
Are nine-and-fifty swans….

When I’m waiting for a response to something that’s important to me, WB is invariably there whispering:

Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.

And he’s the one who knows everything about:

But one man loved the pilgrim soul in you.

How often I look at loved ones who are frazzled, overwrought, over-working and know that Yeats’, like me, would bid them:

… take life easy, as the grass grows on the weirs

And, with mind-blowing  interconnections and intertwinings emerging all the time, I tend to refer back to Yeats’ great final line of Among School Children:

How can we know the dancer from the dance?

So many great lines, comforting words, evocative poems and sheer resonance!  W.B. Yeats, how glad I am that I live at a time when I’ve had the chance to bathe and soak in your tapestry of poetic genius.

W.B. Yeats
W.B. Yeats





Author: socialbridge

I am a sociologist and writer from Ireland. I have worked as a social researcher for 30 years and have had a lifelong passion for writing. My main research interests relate to health care and sense of place.

21 thoughts on “W.B. Yeats ~ 149 Years On”

  1. Indeed, one of the few poets I enjoy. Maybe I posted before a quote attributed to him but which I just can’t verify. I think it was Donohue’s, Baggott Street he was invited into, for a sherry. After a few
    minutes he said ‘Well, now I have visited an Irish bar, and I have not the least desire to visit another.’ If it wasn’t true it ought to have been.

    1. Hi Roy, I’m glad to hear that WBY is a poet you enjoy.
      As for Irish bars, I wish both you and he had had the chance to frequent Carberry’s in Drogheda in the 1970s. An Irish bar in the truest and best sense of the term!

  2. Yes Yeats is a comfort and an example to me too. Though it has taken me time to appreciate why my father so idolized him. The man has a line for every occasion, comfort for every ill.xxx

    1. Willow, thanks very much for writing. How interesting that your father idolised Yeats! Sounds like he and I would have got on brilliantly! It’s great that you’ve grown into his work!

      1. Yes I think sometimes you need to live to appreciate what is written about life. Yes I think you would of have had a lot on common with the quiet man! Xxx

        1. I guess you’re right about the need to live life to appreciate a lot of what’s written about it. Having said that, Yeats and me go back a long, long way!!!

      1. Really? Wow, that is quite a complement and one I will cherish, Jean! Even though I may doubt it…:) Then again, doubt manages to occupy my mind more often than I’d like…have a super Sunday!

  3. Does anyone know of an artist Thomas (either O. or C. Donohue who did a sign and numbered illustration of The Swans of Coole. I have this print and LOVE the poem. I am trying to find more about my piece of art and have been unsccessful on the internet. It may indeed be worthless in the art world, but is very special to me, so I am researching it.

    1. Hi Judith, I’m afraid I can’t shed any light on your question but hopefully somebody reading here may and I’ll keep you posted
      Sounds like a lovely illustration.

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