William Butler Yeats

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

A Bronze Head - Poem by William Butler Yeats

HERE at right of the entrance this bronze head,
Human, superhuman, a bird's round eye,
Everything else withered and mummy-dead.
What great tomb-haunter sweeps the distant sky
(Something may linger there though all else die;)
And finds there nothing to make its tetror less
i{Hysterica passio} of its own emptiness?

No dark tomb-haunter once; her form all full
As though with magnanimity of light,
Yet a most gentle woman; who can tell
Which of her forms has shown her substance right?
Or maybe substance can be composite,
profound McTaggart thought so, and in a breath
A mouthful held the extreme of life and death.

But even at the starting-post, all sleek and new,
I saw the wildness in her and I thought
A vision of terror that it must live through
Had shattered her soul. Propinquity had brought
Imagiation to that pitch where it casts out
All that is not itself: I had grown wild
And wandered murmuring everywhere, 'My child, my
child! '

Or else I thought her supernatural;
As though a sterner eye looked through her eye
On this foul world in its decline and fall;
On gangling stocks grown great, great stocks run dry,
Ancestral pearls all pitched into a sty,
Heroic reverie mocked by clown and knave,
And wondered what was left for massacre to save.


Comments about A Bronze Head by William Butler Yeats

  • (6/30/2019 11:10:00 PM)

    " Heroic reverie mocked by clown and knave'
    And wondered what was left for massacre to save"
    Great composition penned by a master craftsman.
    (Report)Reply

    0 person liked.
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  • Bernard F. Asuncion (6/30/2019 4:25:00 PM)

    One of the best poems by William Butler Yeats..... (Report)Reply

    0 person liked.
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  • (6/30/2019 10:34:00 AM)

    A imaginative and prescient of terror that it should stay thru
    Had shattered her soul. Propinquity had added
    Imagiation to that pitch wherein it casts out


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    (Report)Reply

    0 person liked.
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  • Aniruddha Pathak (6/30/2019 7:07:00 AM)

    These great poets never wrote poems in their thousands
    like we churn out prose poems. Each one well thought out and chiseled meticulously.
    Nature takes thousands of years to make diamond from coal.
    (Report)Reply

    1 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Adeeb Alfateh (6/30/2019 12:25:00 AM)

    A vision of terror that it must live through
    Had shattered her soul. Propinquity had brought
    Imagiation to that pitch where it casts out

    great write
    great 10++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    (Report)Reply

    1 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • (3/15/2018 12:46:00 PM)

    I am a big idiot (Report)Reply

    0 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • (6/9/2014 7:31:00 AM)

    ............great imagery....so vividly the bronze head can be pictured..... (Report)Reply

    1 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Dr.subhendu Kar (11/13/2011 9:02:00 AM)

    brilliance burns in metaphors........what was left for massacre to save..... (Report)Reply

    16 person liked.
    4 person did not like.
  • (6/30/2009 11:07:00 AM)

    One of Yeats weaker poems in my opinion. (Report)Reply

    12 person liked.
    22 person did not like.
Read all 11 comments »




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Read poems about / on: child, woman, dark, sky, death, light, world, children, running, women



Poem Submitted: Tuesday, May 15, 2001



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