A Dream Of Death Poem by William Butler Yeats

A Dream Of Death

Rating: 3.2

I DREAMED that one had died in a strange place
Near no accustomed hand,
And they had nailed the boards above her face,
The peasants of that land,
Wondering to lay her in that solitude,
And raised above her mound
A cross they had made out of two bits of wood,
And planted cypress round;
And left her to the indifferent stars above
Until I carved these words:
i{She was more beautiful than thy first love,}
i{But now lies under boards.}

Shannon Brown 31 January 2006

Yeats shows us within his 'dream' that death does not have to be an ugly tragidy but from death love can still exist, even when our loved one has passed.

24 8 Reply
Ray Quesada 13 October 2012

12 lines - Novels spoken. I never get tired of saying THE BEST POETS can do in 12 lines what others have to do in 36. amazing - may Yeats smile in his eternal slumber.

21 5 Reply
John S 24 October 2013

Sometimes I am amazed how some great poems get relatively low ratings by members. Just the structure of the poem itself is brilliant. This was back when poets cared about metre and rhyme. The odd numbered lines are about 10 syllables (or beats) & the even number lines are about 5 beats. The poem just flows so well when you read it. The structure gives it a rhythm. The poems plot (if that's what the idea of a poem is called) is touching too. A women dies in a strange place with strangers whom do not know her and do not know what Yeats knows about her. She is a beautiful and magnificent person to Yeats, but to them she is just a stranger of no significance. She is buried by strangers & even the stars are indifferent to her. Think about that next time your walking through a graveyard, passing gravestones without thought. These may be the bodies of faceless people long dead, but to someone they were fathers, mothers, siblings, lovers, someone's first love and someone's last love. Someone who lived, breathed, and dreamed. O death in life, so sad, so strange, the days that are no more.

12 1 Reply
West Phalen 27 March 2013

I'm looking for the face I had before the world was made. Yeats.

10 2 Reply
Gangadharan Nair Pulingat 29 August 2014

Marvelous the poem is and I loved it in that sense of love.

10 2 Reply
Passhion Barr 04 June 2023

A man faith ment to fall by a web of lies stood tall an showed his truth an yet was not excepted even though trail an error

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Dr. Antony Theodore 25 December 2020

left her to the indifferent stars above Until I carved these words: i{She was more beautiful than thy first love, } i{But now lies under boards.} A fine poem. tony

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Suryendu Chaudhury 15 November 2020

A deeply pensive note and also a heartfelt one.

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Patti Masterman 07 January 2020

I'm so sorry you are dead before I was born and forgive my audacity for leaving my own words here. I love how the stars were indifferent- aren't they always? - but we feel they belong to us somehow, trapped down here in the dirt as we are; don't even prisoners see the stars and feel a little hope that even that comfort is not completely denied them?

2 0 Reply
Ramesh T A 12 July 2019

Death never leaves anyone whether one is beautiful or not! Indeed this tribute is more lasting than any other thing one can say. This reveals W B Yeats' philosophic depth in this poem!

3 0 Reply
William Butler Yeats

William Butler Yeats

County Dublin / Ireland
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