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Sailing to Byzantium

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  • James ONeil May 17, 2020, 11:22 AM

    Before listening, I went and got my Yeats off the shelf so I could read and listen at the same time.

    As usual for Yeats, he hammered out the form and format quite precisely; four stanzas, each eight lines of iambic pentameter, stuffed with concepts and constructs,, forcing the reader to pause and contemplate.

    I was a bit shocked and startled being reminded of his old man thoughts and laments while in his early sixties but I must allow that when he wrote it, close to a hundred years ago, many, if not most, were old, quite old, in their sixties.

    Though thinking back I most allow, that when I first read ‘Sailing to..’ in my late teens or early twenties, I absolutely knew that those in their sixties, those doddering tottering tatter coated sticks, were worn and rusted ancient fossils whose mere continued existence challenged belief.

    Needless to say, as I contemplate firing up my chainsaw and cutting some brush after finishing this post, I find myself chuckling at my youthful naivety.