Planning a Pilgrimage to Yeats’ Grave

More than nineteen autumns

have passed since I fell in love

with Ireland, with words—

brilliant creatures lyrical

mysterious, beautiful

 

I don’t know if I can claim

that I’d never before desired

a bee-loud glade; nor can I blame

you entirely for my choice

and my pride to stitch

and unstitch these lines

rather than scrub kitchens

break stones

 

(Soul, clap your hands and sing

to find again these phrases, to hear

with older ears the cadence

of the dim, green isle

Heart, skim back the years to see

a pulsing belief in faeryland, star-laden

seas and terrible beauty…)

 

I will go soon to Drumcliff churchyard

by the road, an ancient cross

there I will gaze and pray that I know

the song of linnet’s wings

peace dropping slow

 

I don’t know how better to pay my respects than to steal favorite lines from his works—“The Lake Isle of Innisfree,” “The Man Who Dreamed of Faeryland,” “Adam’s Curse,” “The Wild Swans at Coole,” “Easter 1916,” “Sailing to Byzantium,” ”Under Ben Bulben”

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14 thoughts on “Planning a Pilgrimage to Yeats’ Grave

  1. I only just saw this now. How perfect! What a dream trip. I can’t believe I spent all that time in Ireland and never did something like this. I was dismayed to find so many disinterested in literature and history and somehow I never forged ahead or made the most of my time there. Anyway, this is breathtaking – I love that last line!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. We fly into Dublin on Saturday and drive south, west, then north from there! I am dragging my whole family to that Drumcliff churchyard and will be reading them Yeats as we drive so they know why. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You just gave me shivers. Good for you! My first trip there, I flew into Dublin, drove to Cork, then Kerry, Clare and up to Galway. Never made it any further – Kerry stole my heart and at the time, I was focused on Maude Gonne. Having aged, I’d like to return and do the trip you’re on. Enjoy yourself!

        Liked by 1 person

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