Came across a great poem I didn't know by Yeats today. Perhaps I was impressed because of my weakness for coffee shops, alluded to in the comments on my previous post.
Part III from Vaccillation
My fiftieth year had come and gone,
I sat, a solitary man,
In a crowded London shop,
An open book and empty cup
On the marble table-top.
While on the shop and street I gazed
My body of a sudden blazed;
And twenty minutes more or less
It seemed, so great my happiness,
That I was blesséd and could bless.
I then went on to discover the rest of Vaccillation. This passage in particular, caught my eye:
Test every work of intellect or faith,
And everything that your own hands have wrought
And call those works extravagance of breath
That are not suited for such men as come
proud, open-eyed and laughing to the tomb.
It resonated with several things I've come across in the last few days. There was Rachel Fenton (of the snow like thought blog), in an interesting interview about her graphic poetry, wondering aloud if one can be an optimistic nihilist. And also Werner Herzog, saying in a Guardian interview, of a brush with death:
"It's of no significance... Everyone has come close, sometimes very close. It has no significance on how I conduct my life. I'm simply not afraid. It's not in my dictionary of behaviour."
(Tha whole interview is well worth a read, especially for the Herzogian anecdotal evidence which backs up his statement).
11 months ago