William Butler Yeats

County Dublin / Ireland
William Butler Yeats
County Dublin / Ireland
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Easter, 1916

Rating: 3.7
I have met them at close of day
Coming with vivid faces
From counter or desk among grey
Eighteenth-century houses.
I have passed with a nod of the head
Or polite meaningless words,
Or have lingered awhile and said
Polite meaningless words,
And thought before I had done
Of a mocking tale or a gibe
To please a companion
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COMMENTS
Michael Walker 18 September 2019
One of Yeats' finest poems, without a doubt. I am biased towards Ireland rather than England. 'I write it out in a verse-/ MacDonagh and MacBride/ And Connolly and Pearse/ Now and in time to be, / Wherever green is worn, / Are changed, changed utterly: / A terrible beauty is born'. Inspiring lines to me, with forebears from Co. Kerry.
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Big Frank 04 June 2019
I read the following comment by the Irish writer John Waters (in a book review on First Things First for " My father left me Ireland..." by Michael Brendan Dougherty) about one of the people mentioned in the poem above:
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Owen Morelli 02 May 2018
the sadness in this poem but also the notion of sacrifice grabbed my attention on this one, I may only have Irish heritage from half my family but this still seems important to me, My own grandfather almost met the same fate from being a gun runner for the Irish military, This is the best poem I have ever read.
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John Pendrey 12 December 2017
I first saw this poem in “The Poetry of a People” by Andrew Marr. I like to stay out of politics and this poem confirms my dislike of Nationalism: “Enchanted to a Stone To trouble the living stream”
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John the Barman 12 December 2017
I like to stay out of politics but read this for the first time in “The Poetry of the People” by Andrew Marr. It confirms by hatred of Nationalism: “Enchanted to a Stone To trouble the living stream.”
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Wrong pick. That is an allusion to Maud Gonne.
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Mizzy ........ 27 August 2016
Brilliant piece of writing.....plucks at Irish heartstrings!
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Oilibheir Álain Christie 04 February 2014
I hope you like this version, folks. Take care. [?http: //www.youtube.com/watch? v=YdtcI0WNcLA]
10 4 Reply
John Hill 20 July 2009
It isn't the most amazing poem ever written but it is a very impressive effort. For a sensitive man to attempt to deal with the doomed and futile events that saw friends executed as terrorists (and remember, that's what the English saw them as) and to express that balance between admiration and despair in a phrase like 'a terrible beauty' or recognise the dreadful imperative that has driven terrorists (or 'freedom fighters' depending on your view) to kill in the name of peace - 'too long a sacrifice/can make a stone of the heart' is wonderful. The measured, questioning cadences and the remarkably homely imagery make this a timeless poem. He may have thought some very silly things but this poem is not one of them.
6 4 Reply
Cynthia Ventura 14 June 2008
This is the most amazing poem ever written. The imagery and emotion his words evoke wash over me anew every time I read this poem. Do yourself a favor and read anything by Yeats you can get your hands on and memorize this poem!
5 4 Reply
Gloria Rogers 02 April 2006
My grandparents lived through this terrible time in Ireland... I was born in Dublin, Eire and was raised with the knowledge of the terrible things that had occurred, but this poem is incredible... this is the first time I have read this poem... and it cuts to the heart.
7 4 Reply

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