William Butler Yeats

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

Aedh Wishes for the Cloths of Heaven


Had I the heavens' embroidered cloths,
Enwrought with golden and silver light,
The blue and the dim and the dark cloths
Of night and light and the half-light,
I would spread the cloths under your feet:
But I, being poor, have only my dreams;
I have spread my dreams under your feet;
Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.

Submitted: Friday, January 03, 2003

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  • Andrew Hoellering (12/18/2009 7:18:00 AM)

    I'll have a shot, Michael, at commenting on this wonderful poem.
    Aedh (i.e. Yeats) is looking for an image of maximum beauty to describe the gift he wishes to give to his beloved. Yeats creates this gift through his superb poetic use of language to make a priceless imaginary object, the cloth, which also stands for Aedh’s dreams.
    The irony is that the embroidered cloths already exist in the sky above the lovers, and therefore could be shared. What is imaginary is the way they are described, and it only needs a Cyrano de Bergerac, with his gift for poetic speech, to point out their beauty as the couple gaze upwards together. (Report) Reply

  • Natalie Sorokin (12/6/2008 3:31:00 AM)

    I love this poem! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! Somebody watched the movie 'Equilibrium'? The first time I heard the words of poem from there and fall in love.......He is amazing poet! (Report) Reply

  • Michael Breheny (8/15/2006 10:22:00 AM)

    hiya all, just new too this site but i have always loved this poem, will someone take the time to explain its meaning so i can enjoy it even more, thanks (Report) Reply

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