Yeats, Love Letter to Mine

To my partner

Olivia Walters

I’m peering at my library, skimming the titles of authors who speak to me. Yeats, the poem The Fish 

Je regarde ma bibliothèque, je lis entre les grandes lignes les titres des auteurs/autrices qui me parlent. Chez Yeats, la poème Le poisson  

{ Although you hide in the ebb and flow

Of the pale tide when the moon has set,

The people of coming days will know

About the casting out of my net,

And how you have leaped times out of mind

Over the little silver cords,

And think you were hard and unkind,

And blame you with many bitter words. }

The narrator alludes to the fish’s whims. Depending on the day, this instinct is relatable. A misanthropic behavior, doubt embodying the pressure to please and confirmation in deceiving others. And like the fish, swimming between the shadows seems safe.

Le narrateur fait allusion aux caprices du poisson. Selon le jour, cet instinct me correspond. Un comportement misanthropique, le doute qui incarne la pression de faire plaisir et l’assurance de décevoir les autres. Et comme le poisson, nager entre les ombres paraît sûr.

Moving on to another, The Two Trees 

En passant à une autre poème Les deux arbres

BELOVED, gaze in thine own heart,
The holy tree is growing there;
From joy the holy branches start,
And all the trembling flowers they bear.
The changing colours of its fruit
Have dowered the stars with metry light;
The surety of its hidden root
Has planted quiet in the night;
The shaking of its leafy head
Has given the waves their melody,
And made my lips and music wed,
Murmuring a wizard song for thee.
There the Joves a circle go,
The flaming circle of our days,
Gyring, spiring to and fro
In those great ignorant leafy ways;
Remembering all that shaken hair
And how the winged sandals dart,
Thine eyes grow full of tender care:
Beloved, gaze in thine own heart.

Gaze no more in the bitter glass
The demons, with their subtle guile.
Lift up before us when they pass,
Or only gaze a little while;
For there a fatal image grows
That the stormy night receives,
Roots half hidden under snows,
Broken boughs and blackened leaves.
For ill things turn to barrenness
In the dim glass the demons hold,
The glass of outer weariness,
Made when God slept in times of old.
There, through the broken branches, go
The ravens of unresting thought;
Flying, crying, to and fro,
Cruel claw and hungry throat,
Or else they stand and sniff the wind,
And shake their ragged wings; alas!
Thy tender eyes grow all unkind:
Gaze no more in the bitter glass. }

I’ve been thinking about the color red for a couple of days. My painting, my red, glittering ruby with some tangerine.

Yeats wrote these poems for Maud Gonne, a Brit he loved through his twenties and onwards. She never married him, but she was the muse of his poetry.

I chose this poem because it couples words which make me think of us.

Merry light, flaming circle, wizard song

Maud once remarked how Yeats made beautiful poetry out of his unhappiness.

But I feel uplifted after reading this one, because I am transported by the magical, glittering love Yeats depicts.

The second half is bit darker, as it reflects doubt. The “bitter glass” is one I look into occasionally, but you remind me to see another reflection.

Beloved, you filter waves of joy into my heart. I thank you for coming into my life to help me shake away the demons and crows.

For some time I worried I would hide my heart from flowers. I was greatly ignorant, my leafy branches were taken by a storm. Now I blossom because you show me respect and care.

I care for you, for us.

With untempered affection,

Olivia

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