I am still of opinion that only two topics can be of the least interest to a serious and studious mood-sex and the dead.
William Butler Yeats (1865 - 1939)
Source: The Letters of W. B. Yeats
Contributed by: Zaady
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.
Source: The Wild Swans at Coole 1919. An Irish Airman Foresees His Death
Consume my heart away, sick with desire And fastened to a dying animal It knows not what it is, and gather me Into the artifice of eternity.
Source: The Tower, 1928. Sailing to Byzantium
What were all the world's alarms To mighty Paris when he found Sleep upon a golden bed That first dawn in Helen's arms?
Source: The Winding Stair and Other Poems, 1933;. Lullaby
I made my song a coat Covered with embroideries Out of old mythologies From heel to throat But the fools caught it, Wore it in the world's eyes As though they'd wrought it. Song, let them take it, For there's more enterprise In walking naked.
Source: Responsibilities. A Coat
Players and painted stage took all my love, And not those things that they were emblems of.
Source: Last Poems,1936–1939, The Circus Animal’s Desertion, II, st. 3
If a poet interprets a poem of his own he limits its suggestibility.
Much did I rage when young, Being by the world oppressed, But now with flattering tongue It speeds the parting guest.
Source: The Tower, 1928. Youth and Age
Red Rose, proud Rose, sad Rose of all my days! Come near me, while I sing the ancient ways.
Source: The Rose, 1893. To the Rose Upon the Rood of Time, st. I
The friends that have it I do wrong When ever I remake a song Should know what issue is at stake, It is myself that I remake.
Source: The Collected Works in Verse and Prose of William Butler Yeats, 1908, II, preliminary poem
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