William Butler Yeats

(13 June 1865 – 28 January 1939 / County Dublin / Ireland)

A Man Young And Old: V. The Empty Cup


A crazy man that found a cup,
When all but dead of thirst,
Hardly dared to wet his mouth
Imagining, moon-accursed,
That another mouthful
And his beating heart would burst.
October last I found it too
But found it dry as bone,
And for that reason am I crazed
And my sleep is gone.

Submitted: Monday, January 13, 2003

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  • Andrew Hoellering (12/16/2009 6:29:00 AM)

    What an extraordinary imagination Yeats had! The crazy man is superstitious so refuses to drink; the poet's persona finds the cup dry and is similarly disturbed.This reminds me of Rpbert Frost's poem called Fire and Ice, where dissimilars have a similar effect. (Report) Reply

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