“The Magi” — William Butler Yeats

magi

“All the wild witches” (Yeats)

yeats

“A Drunken Man’s Praise Of Sobriety” — William Butler Yeats

yeats

“The Magi,” A Stark Christmas Poem by William Butler Yeats

“The Magi” by William Butler Yeats. A Christmas poem that’s not about Christmas, I guess. I love the final image:

Now as at all times I can see in the mind’s eye,
In their stiff, painted clothes, the pale unsatisfied ones
Appear and disappear in the blue depth of the sky
With all their ancient faces like rain-beaten stones,
And all their helms of silver hovering side by side,
And all their eyes still fixed, hoping to find once more,
Being by Calvary’s turbulence unsatisfied,
The uncontrollable mystery on the bestial floor.

 

Portrait of William Butler Yeats by His Father John Butler Yeats

Ezra Pound Shares Poetry Tips from Hardy, Yeats, Ford, and Bridges

Ezra Pound’s poetry tips; from The Paris Review interview:

INTERVIEWER

You once wrote that you had four useful hints from living literary predecessors, who were Thomas Hardy, William Butler Yeats, Ford Madox Ford, and Robert Bridges. What were these hints?

POUND

Bridges’s was the simplest. Bridges’s was a warning against homophones. Hardy’s was the degree to which he would concentrate on the subject matter, not on the manner. Ford’s in general was the freshness of language. And Yeats you say was the fourth? Well, Yeats by 1908 had written simple lyrics in which there were no departures from the natural order of words.

“The Magi,” A Stark Christmas Poem by William Butler Yeats

“The Magi” by William Butler Yeats. A Christmas poem that’s not about Christmas, I guess. I love the final image:

Now as at all times I can see in the mind’s eye,
In their stiff, painted clothes, the pale unsatisfied ones
Appear and disappear in the blue depth of the sky
With all their ancient faces like rain-beaten stones,
And all their helms of silver hovering side by side,
And all their eyes still fixed, hoping to find once more,
Being by Calvary’s turbulence unsatisfied,
The uncontrollable mystery on the bestial floor.