This royal throne of kings, this scepter’d isle,
This earth of majesty, this seat of Mars,
This other Eden, demi-paradise,
This fortress built by Nature for herself
Against infection and the hand of war,
This happy breed of men, this little world,
This precious stone set in the silver sea,
Which serves it in the office of a wall,
Or as a moat defensive to a house,
Against the envy of less happier lands,
This blessed plot, this earth, this realm, this England.
Richard II Act 2
Reprinted from The Writers Almanac
It’s the birthday of the woman who wrote “My candle burns at both ends;/ It will not last the night; / But ah, my foes, and oh, my friends — / It gives a lovely light!” Edna St. Vincent Millay, the first woman to win the Pulitzer Prize for poetry, was born on this day in 1892 in Rockland, Maine.
After being educated at Vassar, she moved to Greenwich Village and lived a Jazz Age Bohemian life, which revolved around poetry and love affairs. She was beautiful and alluring and many men and women fell in love with her. Critic Edmund Wilson asked her to marry him. She said no. He later reflected that falling in love with her “was so common an experience, so almost inevitable a consequence of knowing her in those days.”
She wrote: “Safe upon the solid rock the ugly houses stand: / Come and see my shining palace built upon the sand!”
I”m back to my old self again, but I’m enjoying posting all these wonderful Yeats’ poems! I hope you won’t mind reading a few more…
Yeats was an unreconstructed romantic, sensitive and emotional. His love life is a captivating story all its own.
This poem is about unrequited love, ever the stuff of poetry.
Never Give All The Heart
Never give all the heart, for love
Will hardly seem worth thinking of
To passionate women if it seem
Certain, and they never dream
That it fades out from kiss to kiss;
For everything that’s lovely is
But a brief, dreamy, kind delight.
O never give the heart outright,
For they, for all smooth lips can say,
Have given their hearts up to the play.
And who could play it well enough
If deaf and dumb and blind with love?
He that made this knows all the cost,
For he gave all his heart and lost.
- A Poem I love by W.B. Yeats (this is Yeats week I hear) 😀 (shafiqah1.wordpress.com)
I am definitely in a mood!!
But it’s a mood in which I am soothed by the words of William Butler Yeats.
So I will share some of my favorite poems, along with some pretty pictures.
By next week, I should be back to bees, gardening and cooking with honey!!
An Irish Airman Foresees His Death
I know that I shall meet my fate
Somewhere among the clouds above;
Those that I fight I do not hate,
Those that I guard I do not love;
My country is Kiltartan Cross,
My countrymen Kiltartan’s poor,
No likely end could bring them loss
Or leave them happier than before.
Nor law, nor duty bade me fight,
Nor public men, nor cheering crowds,
A lonely impulse of delight
Drove to this tumult in the clouds;
I balanced all, brought all to mind,
The years to come seemed waste of breath,
A waste of breath the years behind
In balance with this life, this death.
- W.B. Yeats, Magus (3quarksdaily.com)
- Rare 1930s Audio: W.B. Yeats Reads Four of His Poems (openculture.com)
- William Butler Yeats (acpladult.wordpress.com)
- The Poet’s Power Over Reason (andrewsullivan.thedailybeast.com)