Greetings, Poetry Lovers!
We're a week into March. Feeling Irish yet?
As I've been reminiscing about our family "ancestral" trip last June and pining for Scotland, I'm fondly remembering our traipsing through Ireland, too! (We're all ridiculously Irish as well as Scottish, English, Welsh....)We took a day trip from Dublin out to the countryside and Glendalough, covering some of the same ground we did 22 years ago on our first trip to The Emerald Isle, when the kids were wee tykes. In November, I posted a picture of a Fairy Tree from our recent trip, and a Yeats poem, here.
With St. Patrick's Day inspirations, I steered again toward our good friend William Butler Yeats (1865 - 1939) for today's poem. It blends the real and mythical. Yeats was so intrigued with the faeirie world, and I wouldn't have been surprised to see something fey on those paths through the Irish woods - they just tremble with green, with life, with magic!
The Song of Wandering Aengus
W. B. 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 someone 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.
Here's a link to the poem at the Academy of American Poets.
And here's a link to a teaching guide from The National Endowment for the Humanities.
The introduction reads:
William Butler Yeats wrote "The Song of Wandering Aengus" on January 31 sometime in the late 1890s. It was first printed in 1897 under the title "A Mad Song." The current title "The Song of Wandering Aengus" was applied when it was finally published in The Wind Among the Reeds (1899). These early collected poems displayed Yeats's mastery of the lyric form as well as his passion for Celtic mythology and Irish folklore, which were to fuel his poetic genius throughout his career.
Wishing you lyrical language and maybe a faerie intervention as we bound toward Spring.
Be sure to visit our wonderful Catherine at Reading to the Core for Today's Roundup. She's been long-planning a theme around International Women's Day, which I forgot about, again, until just now checking the Roundup schedule. (This international woman is still looking for traction in this new year. :0! )
Catherine, THANK YOU, and I am cheering on you and others from the lichen-strewn sidelines!