William Butler Yeats

County Dublin / Ireland
William Butler Yeats
County Dublin / Ireland
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A Dramatic Poem

Rating: 2.8
The deck of an ancient ship. At the right of the stage is the mast, with a large square sail hiding a great deal of the sky and sea on that side. The tiller is at the left of the stage; it is a long oar coming through an opening in the bulwark. The deck rises in a series of steps hehind the tiller, and the stern of the ship curves overhead. When the play opens there are four persons upon the deck. Aibric stands by the tiller. Forgael sleeps upon the raised portion of the deck towards the front of the stage. Two Sailors are standing near to the mast, on which a harp is hanging.

First Sailor. Has he not led us into these waste seas
For long enough?
Second Sailor. Aye, long and long enough.
First Sailor. We have not come upon a shore or ship
These dozen weeks.
Sccond Sailor. And I had thought to make
A good round Sum upon this cruise, and turn --
For I am getting on in life -- to something
That has less ups and downs than robbery.
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Fabrizio Frosini 23 February 2018
(1) ''The Shadowy Waters'', which was first published in 1906 **, was the result of much reshaping of a work that Yeats began as a boy, possibly as early as 1885. [springer.com]
3 0 Reply
Fabrizio Frosini 23 February 2018
(2) ** nothing appeared in print until 1900. Still basically a poem in dramatic form, it was performed by the Irish National Theatre Society at the Molesworth Hall, Dublin, on 4 January 1904. The play was then completely rewritten and a new version published in 1906. Still dissatisfied, Yeats reshaped the play for a performance at the Abbey Theatre on 8 December 1906, and this, the Acting Version, was published separately in 1907.
3 0 Reply
Cúcídh Mac Cuagh 04 April 2010
This isn't a poem. This is a play called 'The Shadowy Waters'; started in the late 1880s and not complete until 1907.
7 6 Reply
Fabrizio Frosini 23 February 2018
- yes, it's right .
0 0 Reply

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