Thursday, August 07, 2008

Dictatable Poem: Yeats

Here's an early short poem by Yeats: a lovely boast, if you want to talk about it via Kenneth Koch's ideas about the "inclinations of poetry language" (of which boasting is one). The repeated phrase ("the great and their pride") might spark an interesting discussion of how much novelty, line by line, a poem demands--or, conversely, about how much repetition it can sustain. (Easier to memorize something with repetition in it, natch. Ask Homer.)

He Thinks Of Those Who Have Spoken Evil Of His Beloved

Half close your eyelids, loosen your hair,
And dream about the great and their pride;
They have spoken against you everywhere,
But weigh this song with the great and their pride;
I made it out of a mouthful of air,
Their children's children shall say they have lied.

No comments: