A Month with Yeats: Day Twenty

This quote is from ‘The Old Age of Queen Maeve’.

‘out of the dark air over her head there came
A murmur of soft words and meeting lips.’โ€”W.B. Yeats


She remembers what she has lost


There are some nights, like velvet, summer soft,

Or crisp and winter cold and full of stars,

When memories come crowding, golden motes,

As tender as the petals on the rose.

But like the roses fallen on the ground,

They fade away and leave without a sound.


Published by

Jane Dougherty

I used to do lots of things I didn't much enjoy. Now I am officially a writer. It's what I always wanted to be.

40 thoughts on “A Month with Yeats: Day Twenty”

  1. Jane, I’ve been out of blog circulation for a short time apart from posting a poem or two. Now I’ve found a reason to return. Yeats is one of my favourite Irish poets along with O’Conaire, Austin Clarke and Francis Ledwidge. Now I have 20 days reading to catch up. Woohoo.

      1. They all had some good lines (tongue in cheek there) but there’s something about the magic in Yeats’ verse that I don’t find elsewhere. Just personal, I wouldn’t dare judge the merits of the greats.

      2. There’s magic in all verse and it’s there for everyone to find. If you write poetry you must be conscious of that duty and take care to write poetry for people, not for yourself. All poetry begins with the poet’s personal perception and this they must translate into universal truth, if they can. I believe Yeats lost the run of himself or at least of the public’s perception. The mystical poems are all very well if you’ve bothered to traipse the murky pathways of esoterica trod by him, Crowley and his pals. Personally, I think he stuck his head up his own arse and waved the world goodbye, Senator or not. He knew he was living in the ‘terrible beauty’ but had lost the nerve or the inclination to call it out.

      3. Maybe that’s one of the things I like about Yeats. His failures as a ‘figurehead’ and his failures in his sentimental life make him a human being who hadn’t learnt how to hide himself. He said and did some particularly daft things, and his failure to sit on the fence about the Easter Rising until history had decided how to play it was pretty feeble. But I think he felt very deeply his not-quite-Irishness, or at least his not ground down by the Catholic Church Irishness. I like the mysticism. It isn’t like Crowley’s, there’s no hint at magic in it, just longing. You’re probably right that there’s magic in all verse if you take the trouble to look for it. Maybe I ought to look harder.

  2. Jane, this is a beautiful quote and your poem is equally beautiful.

    As much as I would have liked to continue with your monthlong project ( I enjoyed every moment of it), regretfully I may have to stop as I am over my head trying to get everything in place before the long trip.

    All the best. You may have an anthology in your hand when the month of November is completed. I may still drop in, time permitting but already behind by three post. Not sure I can manage. I won’t have my computer during the trip, so it may be a long break.

    One of my Assamese poem was published in an e-magazine yesterday. The magazine is published from my hometown of Guwahati. I had recited the poem in a poetry conference at Fremont, california in may, 2017. The English translation of the poem ( translated by me) was recited by the emcee. Both the original and the translation was well received. I had posted the poems in my blog towards the early part of the year. maybe I should repost them again.

    1. Don’t worry about not keeping up. The posts will all be there when you come back and you can dip in if you’re short of inspiration. I’m pleased you’ve enjoyed participating. It’s been a good exercise foe all of us. Do repost your poem. I wonder if I haven’t already read it, but it’s always good to show off when something good happens. Congratulations! And have a wonderful trip ๐Ÿ™‚

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