William Butler Yeats

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

A Dream Of Death - Poem by William Butler Yeats

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.}

Comments about A Dream Of Death by William Butler Yeats

  • Henry Tong (2/28/2018 6:43:00 AM)

    I guess it's one's poetic way of dying. We all know death is inevitable, but Yeats digs deeper and goes further to create a wonderland for his burial. Nature, love, religion, and language are all carved on his tombstone. What's amazing about Yeats is that he never flows his verses based on shallow interpretations of life. Instead, he lets the audience discover the depth of soul and beauty of language at the same time. (Report) Reply

    3 person liked.
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  • Susan Williams (2/23/2018 9:56:00 PM)

    left her to the indifferent stars above- - - - to die an unknown, unmourned and then the only distinction given to the woman was that her face was beautiful.... why does the fact that she was beautiful pain us? but it does. We seem to worship beauty and place it than honor or sweetness. If it had been a plain woman would the lines be as impactful to us? (Report) Reply

  • (11/8/2017 3:57:00 PM)

    I find death appealing, just like my granddaughters legs. (Report) Reply

  • (6/23/2017 8:15:00 PM)

    Great poem. nice to read (Report) Reply

  • Myiner Agony (12/15/2016 10:11:00 AM)

    I like this poem it shows high and clear emotion (Report) Reply

  • (8/29/2014 11:19:00 PM)

    Marvelous the poem is and I loved it in that sense of love. (Report) Reply

  • (6/9/2014 6:56:00 AM)

    ...........his dream is so poignantly beautiful.... wonder if dreaming of death has a meaning... (Report) Reply

  • (1/26/2014 8:30:00 AM)

    Simply beautiful. Moving (Report) Reply

  • John S (10/24/2013 4:46:00 AM)

    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. (Report) Reply

  • (3/27/2013 7:06:00 PM)

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

    (Report) Reply

  • (10/13/2012 11:34:00 AM)

    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. (Report) Reply

  • (1/31/2006 2:07:00 PM)

    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. (Report) Reply

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User Rating:
3,1 / 5 ( 133 votes ) 12

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Read poems about / on: solitude, beautiful, death, dream, love, star

Poem Submitted: Tuesday, May 15, 2001

Poem Edited: Tuesday, May 15, 2001

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