A Coat Poem by William Butler Yeats

A Coat

Rating: 3.3


I MADE my song a coat
Covered with embroideries
Out of old mythologies
From heel to throat;
But the fools caught it,
Wore it in the world's eyes
As though they'd wrought it.
Song, let them take it,
For there's more enterprise
In walking naked.

COMMENTS OF THE POEM
Allison Helman 03 July 2012

I've read five W. B. Yeats poems tonight and, It is strange to say but, I don’t believe Mr. Yeats’ poetry can be fully understood for at least a century. I believe he made use of poetic devices beyond the current intellectual boundaries of literature. It’s not stylistic, it’s graphed on a different grid and can only be partially appreciated by what can be plotted in ours. I find it jarring that for all my schooling, no instructor read us Yeats. Maybe this is one reason why but, how I wish they had! I see a lack in my life.

13 13 Reply
Andile Nozibusiso Mtshali 18 January 2011

This is actually in response to an argument between Yeats and George Moore who accused Yeats of being a poser and pretending that he was from a higher social order than he really was. So this is Yeats saying he doesn\'t care about his outward appearance and status, he is sloughing it all off, ridding himself of his coat.

14 12 Reply
Ru Con 02 February 2014

I think he's talking about one's persona, protective outer personality. But then people can take it, leaving the person exposed. So I guess he's then saying, screw it, better to be yourself, be naked and be comfortable with it.

19 4 Reply
Kevin Straw 19 January 2010

Pruchnicki - how could anyone “take Yeats’ songs as their own”? You don’t make sense old chap. As for “naked” - if it means anything, it does not mean what you say it does. I cannot see Yeats “dissing” (do you have that word?) his early poetry as bad and dishonest, which is what you are suggesting. He says there is more enterprise in walking naked, which is something else. But what it is he does not say. It could mean he will write no more poetry (after all, the contemporary reader reading this poem, was not to know of what was to come.) .

11 9 Reply
Bernadette Wilson 18 January 2011

I found the ~POEM~ was very, 'soothing'~ with lost's of warmth, and melody.

10 9 Reply
Smoky Hoss 28 April 2022

As another famous poet has said, to thine own self be true. These words, taken to heart, just may be a relief prescription for anxiety.

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Gary Tunstall 11 December 2021

Not sure that many famous people could walk naked without an image these days, it is hard to wear your heart on your heart on your sleeve when the world wants more style than substance xD

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Suryendu Chaudhury 13 October 2020

The sharp point of difference between the elevated mind of a poet and the materialistic people is poignantly presented.

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whiteangel 19 August 2018

poem of deep invocation

2 0 Reply
Humane Engineer 28 July 2018

Poem sounds like Yeats laments an epic song he wrote, filled with metaphors and allusion, misused.

2 0 Reply
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William Butler Yeats

William Butler Yeats

County Dublin / Ireland
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