Yeats Day

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If the Blogosphere seems a little more poetic than usual today, it’s because this is International Yeats Day, marking the poet’s 150th birthday.

There are events taking place worldwide to celebrate the day, and bloggers are posting their favourite Yeats poems.


It’s difficult for me to choose a single poem of his that I like most, but after some thought, I have decided to pick “He Wishes for the Cloths of Heaven” which I love as it is simple, romantic, moving, and filled with beautiful imagery.

Had I the heavens’ embroidered cloths,

Enwrought with golden and silver light,

The blue and the dim and the dark cloths

Of night and light and the half-light,

I would spread the cloths under your feet:

But I, being poor, have only my dreams;

I have spread my dreams under your feet;

Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.

Yeats was always careful how his verse sounded when read aloud, as you can hear by listening to the man himself reading three of his poems.

Which is your favourite Yeats poem? You can record yourself reading it and submit it here.



2 thoughts on “Yeats Day

  1. Great poet indeed. Here is my favourite.

    When You Are Old
    William Butler Yeats

    When you are old and grey and full of sleep,
    And nodding by the fire, take down this book,
    And slowly read, and dream of the soft look
    Your eyes had once, and of their shadows deep;

    How many loved your moments of glad grace,
    And loved your beauty with love false or true,
    But one man loved the pilgrim soul in you,
    And loved the sorrows of your changing face;

    And bending down beside the glowing bars,
    Murmur, a little sadly, how Love fled
    And paced upon the mountains overhead
    And hid his face amid a crowd of stars.

    Then again, I am getting on a bit! Cheers Niall.

    Liked by 1 person

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