Sunday, June 22, 2008

Poetry Project

Probably because I have been reading Angela's Ashes lately (FINALLY - a review will follow), my mind has been on the Irish lately. The poem below is one of my favorites by Yeats, probably because I, too, have felt feverish, restless some nights and have had a desire to go tromping through the wilderness in in hopes of discovering all secrets of the world.

Aengus was the Irish god of love (of sorts). I have always been spellbound by Celtic/Irish mythology (my cousin had a fascinating book full of Celtic stories and wonderful illustrations that I LOVED to curl up with as a child), and I think my love of this poem plays into that interest as well.

The Song of Wandering Aengus
By William Butler Yeats

I went out to the hazel wood,
Because a fire was in my head,
And cut and peeled a hazel wand,
And hooked a berry to a thread;
And when white moths were on the wing,
And moth-like stars were flickering out,
I dropped the berry in a stream
And caught a little silver trout.

When I had laid it on the floor
I went to blow the fire a-flame,
But something rustled on the floor,
And some one called me by my name:
It had become a glimmering girl
With apple blossom in her hair
Who called me by my name and ran
And faded through the brightening air.

Though I am old with wandering
Through hollow lands and hilly lands,
I will find out where she has gone,
And kiss her lips and take her hands;
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.


P.S. If you are familiar with Eudora Welty's work, you'll recognize the phrase in the final line of this verse. She titled one of her collections of short stories, The Golden Apples, after these words.

2 comments:

HEATHER said...

I loved Angela's Ashes. This book truly changed my way of thinking.
I had a pretty rotten childhood, but at least I was fed, dry and warm. It really changed the way I felt about the things that happened to me.

Nicole Bradshaw said...

It sure made me appreciate the life I have had, I'll tell you that. It's easy to forget that there are people who subsist on so much less than what we routinely take for granted . . .