William Butler Yeats

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

The Fisherman - Poem by William Butler Yeats

ALTHOUGH I can see him still.
The freckled man who goes
To a grey place on a hill
In grey Connemara clothes
At dawn to cast his flies,
It's long since I began
To call up to the eyes
This wise and simple man.
All day I'd looked in the face
What I had hoped 'twould be
To write for my own race
And the reality;
The living men that I hate,
The dead man that I loved,
The craven man in his seat,
The insolent unreproved,
And no knave brought to book
Who has won a drunken cheer,
The witty man and his joke
Aimed at the commonest ear,
The clever man who cries
The catch-cries of the clown,
The beating down of the wise
And great Art beaten down.
Maybe a twelvemonth since
Suddenly I began,
In scorn of this audience,
Imagining a man,
And his sun-freckled face,
And grey Connemara cloth,
Climbing up to a place
Where stone is dark under froth,
And the down-turn of his wrist
When the flies drop in the stream;
A man who does not exist,
A man who is but a dream;
And cried, 'Before I am old
I shall have written him one
poem maybe as cold
And passionate as the dawn.'


Comments about The Fisherman by William Butler Yeats

  • Brian Jani (5/17/2014 2:54:00 PM)


    Butler A beautifully written poem. Keep it up (Report) Reply

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Read poems about / on: poem, hate, dream, dark, sun, hope



Poem Submitted: Thursday, May 17, 2001

Poem Edited: Thursday, May 17, 2001


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