William Butler Yeats

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

Why Should Not Old Men Be Mad?

Poem by William Butler Yeats

WHY should not old men be mad?
Some have known a likely lad
That had a sound fly-fisher's wrist
Turn to a drunken journalist;
A girl that knew all Dante once
Live to bear children to a dunce;
A Helen of social welfare dream,
Climb on a wagonette to scream.
Some think it a matter of course that chance
Should starve good men and bad advance,
That if their neighbours figured plain,
As though upon a lighted screen,
No single story would they find
Of an unbroken happy mind,
A finish worthy of the start.
Young men know nothing of this sort,
Observant old men know it well;
And when they know what old books tell
And that no better can be had,
Know why an old man should be mad.

Comments about Why Should Not Old Men Be Mad? by William Butler Yeats

  • joe blaustein (12/6/2018 9:11:00 AM)

    , , , particularly apt in times of Trump(Report)Reply

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  • Bill Wright (10/14/2016 10:45:00 AM)

    Excellent poem, really enjoyed it.(Report)Reply

    1 person liked.
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  • * Sunprincess * (4/5/2016 8:51:00 AM)

    ......a wonderful poem with a great message - Life isn't fair ★(Report)Reply

    1 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Brian JaniBrian Jani (5/5/2014 4:11:00 AM)

    Good poem(Report)Reply

    2 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
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Read poems about / on: girl, children, happy, dream, child

Poem Submitted: Thursday, May 17, 2001

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