Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Feels like a day for a poem

I don't have one of my own at hand, so I fall back on the old saw, the old warhorse. . . the old sawhorse?

This poem may be my favorite thing in all creation. Hell, in all Tarnation. I recite it from memory (and you'll see that I actually can't remember one whole word. . . maybe I'll even leave out a whole line or a stanza), so 100,000 times 10 bonus points to everyone who can point out an error--words, punctuation, taste, hygiene--everything is fair game. Proust misremembers quotations in one or two places. Am I better than Proust? And I know it's only one search string away from copy-and-paste perfect correctness. You don't get poetry, do you?

~W.B. Yeats

I will arise and go now, and go to Innisfree
And a small cabin build there of clay and wattles made.
Nine bean rows will I have there and a hive for the honey bee
And live all alone in the bee-loud glade.

And I will have some peace there, for peace comes dropping slow,
Dropping from the veils of morning to where the cricket sings.
Midnight there is all a glimmer and noon a purple glow
And evening full of the linnet's wings.

I will arise and go now for always, night and day,
I hear lake water lapping with low sounds by the shore;
When I stand upon the (roadside?) or on the pavements grey,
I hear it in the deep heart's core.

What I'm most pleased with today is how the first line of the second stanza ends with an adjective (slow) which is modifying a verb. Take that one to your schoolmarm. And quiet flows the Don.

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