Tuesday, 13 March 2018

WB Yeats – Collected Poems 2010

More wisdom than I understand.  But it reaches me without the latter.

“Of old the world on dreaming fed;
Grey Truth is now her painted toy.
Lest all thy toiling only breeds
New dreams, new dreams; there is not truth
Saving in thine own heart.” (Yeats ‘The Song of the happy shepherd’, 2010, p.33).

                                 And then she:
‘Although our love is waning, let us stand
By the lone border of the lake once more,
Together in that hour of gentleness
When the poor tired child, Passion, falls asleep:
How far away the stars seem, and how far
Is our first kiss, and ah, how old my heart.” (Yeats, 2010, ‘Ephemera, p.44).

“I will arise and go now, and go to Innisfree,
And I shall have a some peace there, for peace comes dropping slow,
Dropping from the veils of the morning to where the crickets sings;
I will arise and go now, for always night and day
I hear lake water lapping with low sounds by the shore.” (Yeats, 2010, ‘The lake isle of Innisfree’, p.74).

“I sigh that kiss you,
For I must own
That I shall miss you
When you have grown.” (Yeats, 2010, ‘A cradle song, p.75).

“Out-worn heart, in a time out-worn,
Come clear of the nets of wrong and right;
Laugh, heart, again in the grey twilight,
Sigh, heart, again in the dew of the morn.” (Yeats, 2010, ‘Into the twilight, p.98).

“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.” (Yeats, 2010, ‘The song of wandering Aengus’, p.99).

“When my arms wrap you round I press
My heart upon the loveliness
That has long faded from the world.” (Yeats, 2010, ‘He remembers forgotten Beauty, p.103).

“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, 2010, ‘He wishes for the cloths of heaven’, p.116).

“When I play on my fiddle in Dooney,
Folk dance like a wave of the sea.” (Yeats, 2010, ‘The Fiddler of Dooney’, p.117).

“I cried when the moon was murmuring to the birds:” (Yeats, 2010, ‘The Withering of the Boughs’, p.125).

“Though leaves are many, the root is one;
Through all the lying days of my youth
I swayed my leaves and flowers in the sun;
Now I may wither into the truth.” (Yeats, 2010, ‘The coming of wisdom with time’, p.145).

“Do men who least desire get most,
Or get the most who most desire?’
A beggar said, ‘They get the most
Whom man or devil cannot tire.” (Yeats, 2010, ‘The three beggars’, p.163).

“When have I last looked on
The round green eyes and the long wavering bodies
Of the dark leopards of the moon!
All the wild witches, those most noble ladies,
For all their broom-sticks and their tears,
Their angry tears, are gone.” (Yeats, 2010, ‘Lines written in dejection’, p.207).

“Robartes: Twenty-and-eight the phases of the moon,
The full and the moon’s dark and all the crescents,
Twenty-and-eight, and yet but six-and-twenty
The cradles that a man must needs be rocked in:
For there’s no human life at the full or the dark.
From the first crescent to the half, the dream
But summons to adventure and the man
Is always happy like a bird or a beast;
But while the moon is rounding towards the full
He follows whatever whim’s most difficult
Among whims not impossible, and though scarred,
As with the cat-o’-nine tails of the mind,
His body moulded from within his body
Grows comlier, Eleven pass, and then
Athena takes Achilles by the hair,
Hector is in the dust, Nietzsche is born
Because the hero’s crescent is the twelfth.
And yet, twice born, twice buried, grow he must,
Before the full moon but sets the soul at war
In its own being, and when that war’s begun
In its own being, and when that war’s begun
There’s no muscle in the arm, and after,
Under the frenzy of the fourteenth moon,
The soul begins to tremble into stillness,
To die into the labyrinth of itself.” (Yeats, 2010, ‘The phases of the moon’, p.230).

“Hearts with one purpose alone
Through summer and winter seem
Enchanted to a stone
To trouble the living stream.
The long-legged moorhens dive,
And hens the moor-cocks call;
Minute by minute they live:
The stone’s in the midst of all.

Too long a sacrifice
Can make a stone of the heart.
O when it may suffice?” (Yeats, 2010, ‘Easter 1916’, p.251).

“Turning and turning the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack of all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.” (Yeats, 2010, ‘The second coming’, p.260).

“That is not country for old men The young
In one another’s arms, birds in the trees,
- Those dying generations – at their song
The salmon-falls, the mackerel-crowded seas,
Fish, flesh, or fowl, commend all summer long
Whatever is begotten, born, and dies.
Caught in that sensual music all neglect
Monument of unageing intellect.” (Yeats, 2010, ‘Sailing to Byzantium’, p.267).

“What shall I do with this absurdity –
O heart, O troubled heart – this caricature,
Decrepit age that has been tied to me
As to a dog’s tail?” (Yeats, 2010, ‘The Tower’, p.268).

“Death and life were not
Till man made up the whole,
Made lock, stock and barrel
Out of his bitter soul,
Aye, sun, and moon and star, all,
And further add to that
That, being dead, we rise,
Dream and so create
Translunar Paradise.
I have prepared my peace
With learned Italian things
And the proud stones of Greece,
Poet’s imaginings
And memories of the words of love,
Memories of the words of women,
All those things whereof
Man makes a superhuman
Mirror-resembling dream.” (Yeats, 2010, ‘The Tower’, p.273).

“O what if levelled lawns and graveled ways
Where slippered Contemplation finds his ease
And Childhood a delight or every sense,
But take our greatness with our violence?” (Yeats, 2010, ‘Meditations in Times of Civil war, p.276).

 “… if our works could
But vanish with our breath
That were a lucky death,
For triumph can but mar our solitude.” (Yeats, 2010, ‘Nineteen Hundred and Nineteen’, p.285).

“Come let us mock the great
That had such burdens on the mind
And toiled so hard and late
To leave some monument behind
Nor thought of the levelling wind.” (Yeats, 2010, ‘Nineteen Hundred and Nineteen’, p.286).

“A prayer for my Son

Bid a strong ghost stand at the head
That my Michael may sleep sound
Nor cry, nor turn in the bed
Till his morning meal come round;
And may departing twilight keep
All dread afar till morning’s back,
That his mother may not lack
Her fill of sleep.

Bid the ghost have sword in fist:
Some there are, for I avow
Such devilish things exist,
Who have planned his murder, for they know
Of some most haughty deed or thought
That waits upon his future days,
And would through hatred of the bays
Bring that to nought.

Though You can fashion everything
From nothing every day, and teach
The morning stars to sing,
You have lacked articulate speech
To tell Your simplest want, and known,
Wailing upon a woman’s knee,
All of that worst ignominy
Of flesh and bone;

And when through all the town there ran
The servants of your enemy,
A woman and a man,
Unless the Holy Writings lie,
Hurried through the smooth and rough
And through the fertile and waste,
Protecting, till the danger past
With human love.” (Yeats, 2010, ‘A prayer for my Son, p.290).

“Endure what life God gives and ask no longer span;
Cease to remember the delights of youth, travel-wearied aged man;
Delight becomes death-longing if all longing else be vain” (Yeats, 2010, ‘From Oedipus at Colonus’, p.308).

“For meditations upon unknown thought
Make human intercourse grow less and less.” (Yeats, 2010, ‘All Soul’s night’, p.311).

“The innocent and the beautiful
Have no enemy but time:
Arise and bid me strike a match
And strike another till time catch;
Should the conflagration climb” (Yeats, 2010, ‘In memory of Eva Gore-Booth and Con Markiewicz’, p.315).

“Nor dread nor hope attend
A dying animal;
A man awaits his end
Dreading and hoping all;” (Yeats, 2010, ‘Death’, p.316).

“Blessed be this place,
More blessed still this tower;
A bloody, arrogant power
Rose out of the race
Uttering, mastering it,
Rose like these walls from these
Storm-beaten cottages –
In mockery I have set
A powerful emblem up,
And sing it rhyme upon rhyme
In mockery of a time
Half dead at the top.” (Yeats, 2010, ‘Blood and the Moon’, p.320).

 “The Seventh:                       They walked the roads
Mimicking what they heard, as children mimic;
They understood that wisdom comes of beggary.” (Yeats, 2010, ‘The seven sages’, p.326).

“Under my window ledge the waters race,
Otters below and moorhens on the top,
Run for a mile undimming in Heaven’s face
Then darkening through ‘dark’ Raftery’s ‘cellar’ drop,
Run underground rise in a rocky place
In Coole demesne and there to finish up
Spread to a lake and drop into a hole.
What’s water but the generated soul?” (Yeats, 2010, ‘Coole and Ballylee, p.329).

“Another emblem there! That stormy white
But seems a concentration of the sky;
And, like the soul, it sails into the sight
And in the morning’s gone, no man knows why;
And is so lovely that it sets to right
What knowledge or its lack had set awry,
So arrogantly pure, a child might think
It can be murdered with a spot of ink” (Yeats, 2010, ‘Coole and Ballylee’, p.329).

 “Between extremities
Man runs his course;
A brand, or flaming breath,
Comes to destroy
All those antinomies
Of day and night;
The body calls it death,
The heart remorse.
But if these be right
What is joy?” (Yeats, 2010, ‘Vacillation’, p.337).

“No man has ever lived that had enough
Of children’s gratitude or woman’s love.
No longer in Lethean foliage caught
Begin the preparation for your death
And from the fortieth winter by that thought
Test every work of intellect or faith,
And everything that your own hands have wrought,
And call those works extravagance of breath
That are not suited for such men as come
Proud, open-eyed and laughing to the tomb.” (Yeats, 2010, ‘Vacillation’, p.337).

“Things said or done long years ago
Or things I did not do or say
But thought that I might say or do,
Weigh me down, and not a day
But something is recalled,
My conscience or my vanity appalled.” (Yeats, 2010, ‘Vacillation’, p.338).

“The soul. Seek out reality, leave things that seem.
The heart. What, be a singer born and lack a theme?
The soul. Isaiah’s coal, what more can man desire?
The heart. Struck dumb in the simplicity of fire!
The soul. Look on that fire, salvation walks within.
The heart. What theme had Homer but original sin.” (Yeats, 2010, ‘Vacillation’, p.339).

“What they undertook to do
They brought to pass;
All things hang like a drop of dew
Upon a blade of grass.” (Yeats, 2010, ‘Gratitude to the unknown Instructors’, p.343).

“I broke my heart in two
So hard I struck.
What matter? For I know
That out of rock,
Out of a desolate source,
Love leaps upon its course.” (Yeats, 2010, ‘His confidence, p.352).

“I’m looking for the face I had
Before the world was made.” (Yeats, 2010, ‘A woman young and old’, p.361).

 “Why should I seek for love or study it?
It is of God and passes human wit.
I study hatred with great diligence,
For that’s a passion in my own control,
A sort of besom that can clear the soul
Of everything that is not mind or sense.” (Yeats, 2010, ‘Ribh considers Christian love insufficient’, p.382).

“’I am I, am I,
The greater grows my light
The further that I fly.’” (Yeats, 2010, ‘He and She’, p.383).

“An Acre of Grass

Picture and book remain,
An acre of green grass
For air and exercise,
Now strength and body goes;
Midnight, an old house
Where nothing but a mouse stirs.

My temptation is quiet.
Here at life’s end” ” (Yeats, 2010, ‘An acre of Grass’, p.399).

 “Parnell came down the road, he said to a cheering man:
‘Ireland shall get her freedom and you still break stone.” (Yeats, 2010, ‘Parnell’, p.413).

“Grandfather sang it under the gallows:
‘Hear, gentleman, ladies and all mankind:
Money is good and a girl might be better,
But good strong blows are delights to the mind.’
There, standing on the cart,
He sang it from his hear.

Robbers had taken his old tambourine,
But he took down the moon
And rattled out a tune;
Robbers had taken his old tambourine.” (Yeats, 2010, ‘Three marching songs’, p.435).

“I sought a theme and sought for it in vain,
I sought it daily for six week or so.
Maybe at last, being but a broken man,
I must be satisfied with my heart, although
Winter and summer till old age began
My circus animals were all on show
Those stilted boys that burnished chariot,
Lion and woman and the Lord knows what.” (Yeats, 2010, ‘The Circus Animals’ Desertion’, p.449).

“Man: In a cleft that’s christened Alt
Under broken stone I halt
At the bottom of a pit
That broad noon has never lit,
And shout a secret to the stone.
All that I have said and done,
Now that I am old and ill,
Turns into a question till,
I lie awake night after night
And never get the answer right.
Did that play of mine send out
Certain men the English shot?
Did words of mine put too great strain
On that woman’s reeling brain?
Could my spoken words have checked
That whereby a house lay wrecked?
And all seems evil until I
Sleepless would lie down and die.” (Yeats, 2010, ‘The Man and the Echo’, p.452).

“Many times man lives and dies
Between his two eternities,
That of race and that of soul,
And ancient Ireland knew it all.
Whether man die in his bed
Or the rifle knocks him dead,
A brief parting from those dear
Is the worst man has to fear.
Though grave diggers’ toil is long,
Sharp their spades, their muscles strong,
They but thrust their buried men
Back in the human mind again.” (Yeats, 2010, ‘Under Ben Bulben’, p.457).

Saturday, 30 December 2017

Ovid – Metamorphoses 1986

Many a lesson about live. And interestingly without trying to make it complicated or some deeper psychological struggle. Simply by acting the actors here reveal so much more than a lot of introspection could ever reveal.

 “Horace Walpole’s favourite saying, that life is a comedy to those who think, a tragedy to those who feel.” (Melville, in Ovid, 1986, p. xix).

“And out on soaking wings the south wind flew,
His ghastly features veiled in deepest gloom.
His beard was sodden with rain, his white hair drenched;
Mists wreathed his brow and streaming water fell
From wings and chest; and when in giant hands
He crushed the hanging clouds, the thunder crashed
And storms of blinding rain poured down from heaven.” (Ovid, 1986, p.9).

 “The sun – how slow he seemed! –
Plunged in the waves and from the waves rose night.” (Ovid ‘Diana and Actaeon’, 1986, p.77).

“The huge three-angled isle of Sicily
Lies piled upon the body of the giant,
Typhon, whose hopes had dared heaven’s palaces,
And holds him fast beneath its mighty mass.” (Ovid ‘The rape of Proserpine’, 1986, p.109).

 “And with the boxwood shuttle in her hand
(Box of Cytorus) three times, four times, struck
Arachne on her forehead. The poor wretch,
Arachne on her forehead. The poor wretch,
Unable to endure it, bravely placed
A noose around her neck; but, as she hung,
Pallas in pity raised her, ‘Live!’ she said,
‘Yes, live but hang, you wickedgirl, and know
You’ll rue the future too.” (Ovid ‘Arachne’, 1986, p.1025).

“ … Nothing he would not do,
Nothing not dare, as passion drove unrefined,
A furnace barely in his heart contained.” (Ovid ‘Tereus, Procne, and Philomela’, 1986, p.135).

“And then before her eyes duty and honour
Stood clear and love, defeated, turned away.” (Ovid ‘The rape of Proserpine’, 1986, p.146).

“Take, Athens, take
Our help, don’t ask it!” (Ovid ‘Minos, Aeacus, Plague at Aegina’, 1986, p.109).

“The morning star revealed the shining day,
Night fled, the east wind fell, the rain-clouds rose,
A steady south wind speeded the return
Of Cephalus with the Aeginetan force.” (Ovid ‘Scylla and Minos’, 1986, p.171).

“Then night, the surest nurse of troubled souls.” (Ovid ‘Scylla and Minos’, 1986, p.173).

“and as a ship
That drives before the breeze against the tide
Will feel twin forces and obey them both,
So with both feelings, swaying back and forth,
In turn Althaea lulled and roused her wrath.” (Ovid ‘Meleager and Calydonian Boar’, 1986, p.185).

“Hunger did Ceres’ bidding …
Entered the scoundrel’s room and, as he slept
(The hour was midnight), wrapped him in her arms
And breathed upon him, filling with herself
His mouth and throat and lungs, and channeled through
His hollow veins her craving emptiness;
Then, duty done, quitting the fertile earth
Returned to her bleak home, her caves of dearth.” (Ovid ‘Erysichthon and his daughter’, 1986, p.196).

“I wrote, I wooed, I wanted wickedness.
Though no more’s done, I’ll not seem innocent.
What lies ahead may little add of sin,
But much, oh much, of happiness to win.” (Ovid ‘Byblis’, 1986, p.218).

“The forest failed; on the hard ground she fell,
Exhausted by her quest, and lay face down,
With tumbled hair, among the fallen leaves.” (Ovid ‘Byblis’, 1986, p.219).

“… And now a hawk,
Benign to none, he vents his savagery
On every bird and, as in grief he goes,
Ensures that others frieve and share his woes.” (Ovid ‘Daedalion’, 1986, p.259).

“(Ajax:)It’s safer then to fight with lies than face
A foe in arms. But I’ve no way with words,
Nor he with action; in the battle-line
Of bloody war I’m master, so is he
Master of language. Yet, I’m sure, no words,
My friends, need tell my exploits. Your own eyes
Have seen them. Let Ulysses speak of his,
Done without witness, only known to night!” (Ovid ‘Ajax and Ulysses and the arms of Achilles’, 1986, p.294).

“(Ulysses:) Good comrades, had my prayers and yours prevailed,
There’d be no heirship in dispute today
In this great contest. Your arms there, Achilles,
You’d have yourself; and we should still have you.
But since the Fates’ unfairness has denied him
To me and you alike (he wiped his eyes
As if he wept) ‘who’d better win, as heir
Of great Achilles, than the man who won
The aid of great Achilles for the Greeks?” (Ovid ‘Ajax and Ulysses and the arms of Achilles’, 1986, p.299).

“With neither sleep nor food, as chance might lead.
Tiber was last to see her; tired and worn
With grief and journeying, she laid her head
By his long riverside, and there, in tears,
Breathed weak faint words in cadences of woe,
As dying swans may sing their funeral hymns;
Until at last, her fragile frame dissolved
In misery, she wasted all away
And slowly vanished into empty air.” (Ovid ‘Ficus and Canens’, 1986, p.338).

“Both sides had gods and, what’s as good as gods,
Courage; their aim not realm for dowry now,
Nor royal marriage, nor Lavinia,
Princess for bride; they fought for victory,
Too proud to halt the conflict.” (Ovid ‘Aeneas’ triumph and apotheosis’, 1986, p.342).

“…make my tale
Be told long ages hence, so may the time
You shortened of my life prolong my fame.” (Ovid ‘Pomona and Vertumnus, 1986, p.347).

“… gods are never allowed
to undo what gods have done.” (Ovid ‘Legends of early Rome; The Apotheosis of Romulus, 1986, p.349).

“… Though the gods in heaven
live far removed, he approached them in his mind,
and things that nature kept from mortal sight
his inward eye explored. When meditation
and vigils of long study had surveyed
all things that are, he made his wisdom free
for all to share.” (Ovid ‘The doctrines of Pythagoras’, 1986, p.354).

“How vile a crime that flesh should swallow flesh,
Body should fatten greedy body; life
Should live upon the death of other lives!” (Ovid ‘The doctrines of Pythagoras’, 1986, p.354).

“ … Can you not placate
Without another’s doom – a life destroyed –
The urgent craving of your bellies’ greed?” (Ovid ‘The doctrines of Pythagoras’, 1986, p.355).

“Nature, the great inventor, ceaselessly
Contrives. In all creation be assured,
There is no death – no death, but only chnge
And innovation; what we men call birth
Is but a different new beginning; death
Is but to cease to be the same. Perhaps
This may have moved to that and that to this,
Yet still the sum of things remains the same.” (Ovid ‘The doctrines of Pythagoras’, 1986, p.359).

“We too ourselves, who of this world are part
Not only flesh and blood but pilgrim souls
Or of the farm. These creatures might have housed
Souls of our parents, brothers, other kin,
Or men at least, and we must keep them safe,
Respected, honoured, lest we gorge ourselves
On such a banquet as Thyestes ate.” (Ovid ‘The doctrines of Pythagoras’, 1986, p.365).

“The shore of Corinth’s bay when the sea rose
And a fantastic mound of water swelled
And towered mountain-high, with a loud noise
Of bellowing, and then its crest split wide
And out there burst, as the wave broke, a huge
Horned bull, that reared beast-high into the air,
Its great wide mouth and nostrils spouting brine.” (Ovid ‘The doctrines of Pythagoras’, 1986, p.367).