Daily Archives: May 8, 2004

William Butler Yeats

With William Butler Yeats I see a striking parallel:
of politics and prosody, a marriage made in hell;
each new idea casting an elusive, mastering spell
with only moments in between for time and space to gel
and being armed with will alone, in one’s own Book of Kells
to find only the missing pieces, husks and empty shells.

The tragedy of Poetry, perhaps, or an Irish Curse:
to reclaim places as your own that did not claim you first,
and seek beyond the shapes of things, to slake an inner thirst
that wrecks the lives of those you know, and your loved ones, the worst.
To know that which you think you know is only myth and verse
Composed by some like-minded fool lost in the universe.

In contradictions to define an image of a sage
who mirthless, hoards some trust of great lore, page by page
devouring through the night as restless demons, in their rage
rattle the bars that you now see, in corners of your cage.

Yet hoping, until that last breath
that as with living, so with death
a chain of endless counted days
extended, infinite, both ways.

With that vision in mind, there is no defeat.
There are countless stories to discover, tell and retell;
and somewhere on that line, that existential parallel
you actually find William Butler Yeats.

06 MAY 2004

Share This:


Art for art’s sake? Some mad Protestant Hell:
give glory to gods too quick dethroned,
the crowds that crowned them discharged early
and now gone home,
their purpose found too soon,
before they grew strong.

Without any message, pure art, placed alone,
not impeded by method or philosophy,
no subconscious symbolist message conveyed;
has any such work ever been shown?

The portrayal of struggle, when experienced second-hand
through books, and paintings, and endless streams
of made-for-television movies,
simulcasts of refugees,
on-the-scene reports
and cameras no longer hidden,
cannot help but pose an inference or two,
even against the observer’s better judgment.

All things serve some purpose.

Those that last, that affect real change in the world?
The few that have a chance of achieving longevity
in a world obsessed with fifteen second sound bytes
find that purpose outside themselves.

No thing that exists for its own self alone
really exists.

It has no beginning.
It has no end.
It has no time.
It has no place.

It must be God.

06 MAY 2004

Share This: