Thursday, August 6, 2015

Spotlighting Poetry by Williams Butler Yeats...And More!

"Yet they that know all things but know

 That all this life can give us is

 A child's laughter, a woman's kiss."

William Butler Yeats was an Irish poet and one of the foremost figures of 20th century literature. A pillar of both the Irish and British literary establishments, in his later years he served as an Irish Senator for two terms. Yeats was a driving force behind the Irish Literary Revival and, along with Lady Gregory, Edward Martyn, and others, founded the Abbey Theatre, where he served as its chief during its early years. In 1923 he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature as the first Irishman so honoured for what the Nobel Committee described as "inspired poetry, which in a highly artistic form gives expression to the spirit of a whole nation." Yeats is generally considered one of the few writers who completed their greatest works after being awarded the Nobel Prize; such works include The Tower (1928) and The Winding Stair and Other Poems (1929). Yeats was a very good friend of American expatriate poet and Bollingen Prize laureate Ezra Pound. Yeats wrote the introduction for Gitanjali, which was about to be published by the India Society.

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 Prayer for Old Age

God guard me from those thoughts men think
 In the mind alone;
 He that sings a lasting song
 Thinks in a marrow-bone;
 From all that makes a wise old man
 That can be praised of all; 
O what am I that I should not seem
 For the song's sake a fool?
 I pray -- for word is out 
And prayer comes round again -- 
That I may seem, though
 I die old, A foolish, passionate man.

The Lady's Second Song

What sort of man is coming 
To lie between your feet?
 What matter, we are but women. 
Wash; make your body sweet; 
I have cupboards of dried fragrance. 
I can strew the sheet.
 The Lord have mercy upon us. 
He shall love my soul as though 
Body were not at all, 
He shall love your body
 Untroubled by the soul,
 Love cram love's two divisions 
Yet keep his substance whole.
 The Lord have mercy upon us.
 Soul must learn a love that is proper to my breast,
 Limbs a Love in common
 With every noble beast. 
If soul may look and body touch, 
Which is the more blest? 
The Lord have mercy upon us.

Some of you may already know that Hughes Satellite was having problems, so I hadn't been able to access the Internet... and/or was dealing with very slow support...

I've had this draft on hold since National Poetry Month, so thought I'd shared it today since I didn't use it earlier, so I have time to get back into routine... 

Hope you enjoy my selection of videos in response to Yeats' quote and poetry... As you all know, I'd not really a student of poetry, but do enjoy it, when it speaks to me... 

The last song is one of my favorites and I've sung it solo many times...Recently when I went to the hospital for my last test, I spent some time in the Chapel there where a wonderful lady was playing the organ... I was singing some of our favorites, but realized that, since I've been home more, my voice, too, is getting older and weaker...Funny about that--when I sing it in my head, it sounds wonderful...LOL!

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