A Month With Yeats: Day Thirty

This is the last day of this tremendous poetry marathon that I have so much enjoyed. I’m already looking back on it with nostalgia. To finish, I couldn’t resist another line from ‘The Lake Isle of Innisfree’.

“And I shall have some peace there, for peace comes dropping slow,” —W.B. Yeats


After the winter, peace


Veils of morning and evening fall about this place,

This pile of stones and plaster we call home for a space,

Where willows bow and poplars dance with wild green grace.

There will be peace in the hollows where rests the hare,

Hidden in slanting grass stalks from the midday glare,

And shade to fill the valley where the shy deer dare.

But first comes winter, fleet and wolf-jawed, to crack stones,

And iron is the earth where lie silent bones on bones,

And bare boles, moss moist and cold, are our only thrones.

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.

48 thoughts on “A Month With Yeats: Day Thirty”

  1. I too look back on your Yeats month nostalgically … you have produced some really beautiful work prompted by the master. This one is outstanding.

    1. I’m pleased you like the result. I am too. If I could write like any poet, it would be Yeats and I often feel like a fraud when something ‘sounds’ Yeats-like but falls so far short. This exercise has allowed me to be unashamedly, directly inspired by his images.

      1. You have your own voice but I often feel his clear influence in your work which is nothing to be ashamed of. Our voices are all nursed by those we admire, I think.

      2. One of the reasons, I think, is that I don’t like poetry that isn’t lyrical. The smart stuff with the clever layout that drifts all over the page, the obscure meaning and the deeply personal, all goes right over my head. Wind in the sedge and blood drops in the snow I understand. Symbolism I understand (in a vague sort of way) but rarely the highly introverted poetry that means not very much to anyone who isn’t the poet. I’m just old-fashioned, and possibly a bit of a Philistine.

      3. If your a Philistine then I’m a barbarian , but then poetry is very personal and many of us just know fragments. It’s too late for my education I’m lumped with myself just as I am but perhaps we need more exposure for the up and coming young to balance their view of the world.

      4. It’s maybe a question of what we look for in poetry, like music or the visual arts. I don’t ever want ‘clever’. Not in writing or anything else. ‘Clever’ is a flicker of admiration at an intellectual level, but it doesn’t stir anything deeper. Mahler can reduce me to tears, Pierre Boulez just gives me a headache. It might be clever, but that’s not why I listen to music. There seems to be a huge gulf between the ‘worthy’ literature that wins awards, all about personal struggles and scenarios that sound as dull as ditch water, and the stuff that is fed to young people—badly written, illiterate pap. There has to be something in between, something that captures the magic in beauty and transmits it.

      5. I tend to be with you on that one …. I’m pretty old-fashioned in my tastes I imagine but none the worse for it in my own mind and in the end that is the mind that I have to mind

      6. There’s a lot of truth in that 🙂 I wonder too whether the people who sit through entire symphonies of experimental music get choked up when they listen to Rachmaninov.

      7. Interesting thought …. I simply can’t imagine wasting my time on something that doesn’t move me and a dischordent cacophony of sounds thrown together for the hell of throwing them together seems about as worthwhile as deciding to serve custard with the roast beef for the laughs!

      8. Good analogy. I do try to listen to the modern stuff for some kind of emotional vibes, but there aren’t any. It’s all on the same register; faintly menacing, depressing and crabby. Who needs it?

  2. A beautiful ending to a wonderful month. I like that it invokes the circle.
    Thanks! (as usual) for the inspiring prompts. As you know, I did not complete them all in November, but I will be revisiting them in the coming months. (K)

    1. I’m glad you’ve enjoyed the prompts, Kerfe. They have inspired some wonderful work. I’ll probably keep nudging myself with quotes from one source or another in the coming month.

    1. No, you wrote an extremely peaceful poem. I’m glad you enjoyed the ride—I did too. We’re no really settling, more like muddling along, having to make do without the comforts of the town house. It isn’t comfortable to sit still for too long so work is difficult. The compensations are the birds, the wildlife, the quiet and the trees. Can’t have everything 🙂

      1. I think it is eeking back…slowly. My phone service makes me commit to a contract with no phone upgrades allowed for a specified time. I am hoping to ride it out until I am eligible for a new one. The alternative means breaking the bank. 😦

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