Art & Yeats: the Wild Swans at Coole

Art & Yeats.jpg

Come with me on an experiment into the world of poetry. During my time at Goddard, I wrote a lot of things, but the coolest (besides the novel) is a hybrid cross-genre of poetry and review. In this piece, I bounce off of William Butler Yeats. Come and join me in a strange land where writers of the present commune with wordsmiths of the past.

Art & Yeats: The Wild Swans at Coole

Emotion-invoking poetry

Unlocks the brain

Through brevity, rhyme and rhythm.

Yeats assembles words

Decadently, mysteriously, magically,

Touching the core of the soul

In a way nothing else can.

Poetry is the breath of life.

Yeats’ poetry is time travel:

In one moment I transport to

Coole (1) then Kiltaran Cross (13) and beyond.

Imagery tickles the imagination:

“The trees are in their autumn beauty, /

The woodland paths are dry, /

“Under the October twilight the water

Mirrors a still sky” (1).

My heart lights up like fireflies in July.

Like his man, his words

“took all my heart for speech” (12).

“Be passionate” he says (23).

“[Sing] till stars began to fade” (18).

I’m not a rhymer, but I love the dance of rhythm on a page.

“You have measured out the road that the soul treads /

When it has vanished from our natural eyes; /

That you have talked with apparitions” (35).

My heart reacts first, then my mind

To words and feels I cannot describe.

“For those that love the world serve it /

In action” (83).

Art, he says,

“Is but a vision of reality” (83)

My mind cannot fathom the depths inside some of his vision,

Nevertheless, I try

“And trace these characters upon the sands” (84),

But like sand paintings, they do not last.

I grasp to hold, but must let go.

He steals my heart:

“May handle nothing and set eyes on nothing /

But what the great and passionate have used /

Throughout so many varying centuries” (86).

Yeats poems translate through history

They dance in our minds because he is humanity—we all want to touch souls.


This book rates three stars.



Works Cited

Yeats, W.E. The Wild Swans at Coole. Norwood, Mass: Bibliolife, LLC. n.d. McMillan

Company, 1919. Print.

©2017 Darlene Reilley All Rights Reserved.

About Darlene Reilley

Hey, I'm Darlene, a nomadic writer and teacher. If you're looking for writing prompts, inspiration, and a fellow writer to commiserate with, you've come to the right place. If you're a reader looking for a fun mix of poetry, romance, science and fiction, you've found a buddy!
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