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This is quite a memorable rendition of "The Song Of Wandering Aengus".

I very much enjoyed listening to Yeats reading his own poem.

"It occurs to me as I write this that he is comparable to Sibelius, who was born the same year. Both had their roots in Romanticism, and without abandoning those roots adopted what they found useful and appealing in modern innovations, producing work that satisfies both those who were thoroughly impatient with the art of the 19th century and those who thought free verse, atonal music, and abstract painting were ridiculous."

Very interesting.

I have really enjoyed this. Thank you.

You're welcome. Very glad to hear it.

Great post

I'm going to find time to read this whole thing soon. I'm sure. Please tell me this is true.


Did you ever read Lewis describing his visit(s) to Yeats. I read it in They Stand Together--his letters to Arthur Greeves, and there is also a letter to his father, which I had not read until I saw it quoted here today.

It is a pity that the real romance of meeting a man who has written great poetry and who has known William Morris and Tagore and Symonds should be so overlain with the sam romance of flame-coloured curtains and mumbo-jumbo. Sorry to reference A. N. Wilson's book since I don't think it is very honest.


Does your 3:41 comment mean the 1:53 hope was fulfilled?

I had no idea Lewis had ever met Yeats. The description of the scene is all too plausible. There is very often a certain element of jive with Yeats. I started to say "always" but maybe that would be too harsh.

Yes, it does. This is very good, Maclin, and I really like the quotes you selected and the topics you selected for them. Then, a lot of them are about being old, and I have become deeply interested in that. ;-)

Of the sorrows that inevitably come to children, I have about had my fill.

Can you move the comment I mistakenly left under the Wendell Berry post over here, please?


Doesn't seem to be a way to actually move a comment, in the sense of having it look as if it was originally posted here, but here it is, and I'll remove it from the other post.

The woods of Arcady are dead,
And over is their antique joy;
Of old the world on dreaming fed;
Grey Truth is now her painted toy...

Boy if that ain't true. And Yeats may have meant that Truth itself is grey, but in truth, what we have is murky version of Truth that isn't it, and the murky masses play around with it as if it IS a painted toy.

My cheerful words for the day.


Glad you liked the post.

I'm sure Yeats meant something along the lines of materialism and pragmatism when he spoke of "Grey Truth." Though he was only a kid at the time.:-)

Listening to him, I thought he seemed to be singing his poems. Then I went to the website where you found the recording and read that the poet Seamus Heaney described it as an “elevated chant”. That sounds just right.

Yes,he does seem to be singing.


I would say "chant" but not "elevated". It occurs to me that the word "chant" covers a pretty broad territory, from something like what Yeats does to something that takes a pretty skilled singer.

My Irish companion was struck by his English accident with those Irish notes

Accent !

Unbelievable story, and I have lost the photographic evidence of it. My father and I went to Ireland in 1984 and circumvented the island in a car, started in Dublin and drove clockwise around the island. Somehow we ended up in the graveyard in County Sligo which houses Yeats' tombstone, I guess just walking around, and I had my father snap a picture of me by the grave. I have accused my sister of having these photos but so far they remain undiscovered...

In a recent Sewanee Review there was an essay on Allen Tate's reading of Yeats. Very interesting stuff.

Maybe one day when you are looking for something else, they will turn up.


Rob I would like to read that

I'm pretty sure that it was in the last issue before the current one, Francesca, which would make it Spring 2015. I would check for you but I've loaned my copy out.

I'd like to read it, too. Pretty sure I can find it in a library around here.

And that would definitely be a photo to hang on to, EG.

"My Irish companion was struck by his English [accent] with those Irish notes"

Me too

"Pretty sure I can find it in a library around here."

if either of you have difficulty finding it I'd be happy to send along a photocopy. I know that SR archives their material online, but I'm not sure how long after publication that happens.

I'll let you know if I can't find it

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