Runners Who Read

Who knew? A bunch of runners who enjoy reading and discussing what they read.

Monday, June 13, 2005

Slouching towards Bethlehem

W. B. Yeats' birthday today. His early work is some of the most effortless-sounding lyric poetry ever produced; it's like he just pulled it out of the air, as natural as the weather. And the remarkable thing was that he could have kept spinning out that wonderful Irish folk stuff for the rest of his life and his place in history would have been assured, but his later work simply left earth's orbit and was absolutely fearless. I don't know of many poems the equal of "Sailing to Byzantium," "The Second Coming," "Easter 1916," or "The Tower." He lived it all, a full life with no stone left unturned, and wrote it down better than any before or since, as far as I'm concerned.

Happy birthday, and many thanks.


Blogger T said...

Thank you for posting this. After the most recent bombing here in Cairo, I found myself reading and rereading "The Second Coming." And one of my favorite books of all time is Chinua Achebe's "Things Fall Apart." Not only is Yeats' work impressive, but that which he's inspired is, as well.

11:44 PM  
Blogger Nels Nelson said...

I stood upon the man's grave in County Sligo on the way to Galway, where I spent a fine night in a youth hostel common-room getting sloppy-ass falling down drunk and shit with a couple of guys from said-same Sligo, "the ceremony of innocence is drowned."

12:38 PM  

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