Friday, February 08, 2008

Poetry Friday - William Butler Yeats

Last week I picked up a copy of Under the Moon, a book of unpublished early poetry of William Butler Yeats. It contains thirty-eight poems written between the poet's late teens and early twenties, and was published under the title Yeats had once planned to give his first volume of collected poems. Here is one poem I can't seem to shake.
Wherever in the wastes
by William Butler Yeats

Wherever in the wastes of wrinkling sand
Worn by the fan of ever flaming time
Longing for human converse, we have pitched
A camp for musing in some seldom spot
Of not unkindly nurture, and let loose
To roam and ponder those sad dromedaries
Our dreams, the Master of the pilgrimage
Cries, "Nay -- the caravan goes ever on,
The goal lies further than the morning star."
The round up this week is being hosted by Gina at AmoXcalli. Do stop by and read all the great poetry that's been offered up. Before you go, be sure to check out this week's poetry stretch results. Happy poetry Friday, all!


  1. Tricia,

    One of my favorite poems by Yeats is "Politics." Visit the video page at the Web site of The Favorite Poem Project to hear Stephen Conteaguera read the poem and explain why he selected "Politics" as his favorite poem.

    Have a great weekend!

  2. I really like this poem, too, Tricia. Blank verse, as I can't locate a rhyme scheme, but it's in iambic pentameter.

    I love the idea of dreams as dromedaries (or vice-versa), and the reference to the morning star is so hopeful.

    No rough beast slouches toward Jerusalem yet. I'll have to track that book down.

  3. Oh, Tricia. This one reminds me of The Road goes ever on and on
    Down from the door where it began. Now far ahead the Road has gone,
    And I must follow, if I can...
    -- Tolkien!

    The idea of a caravan -- and "the sad dromedaries of our dreams" -- this is really beautiful. Thanks for sharing it, it's pricking other thought processes for me.

  4. those sad dromedaries???
    I really wish I woulda written that...

  5. See this is me, wanting always to pitch my camp for musing (in some seldom spot). That caravan master shouting about the goal and the stars is very distracting.

  6. I've given you a little award, which you can pick up here: