The Little Review (littlereview) wrote,
The Little Review

Poem for Sunday

Cuchulain Comforted
By W. B. Yeats

A man that had six mortal wounds, a man
Violent and famous, strode among the dead;
Eyes stared out of the branches and were gone.

Then certain Shrouds that muttered head to head
Came and were gone. He leant upon a tree
As though to meditate on wounds and blood.

A Shroud that seemed to have authority
Among those bird-like things came, and let fall
A bundle of linen. Shrouds by two and three

Came creeping up because the man was still.
And thereupon that linen-carrier said
"Your life can grow much sweeter if you will

"Obey our ancient rule and make a shroud;
Mainly because of what we only know
The rattle of those arms makes us afraid.

"We thread the needles' eyes and all we do
All must together do." That done, the man
Took up the nearest and began to sew.

"Now we shall sing and sing the best we can
But first you must be told our character:
Convicted cowards all by kindred slain

"Or driven from home and left to die in fear."
They sang, but had nor human notes nor words,
Though all was done in common as before,

They had changed their throats and had the throats of birds.


From The Washington Post Poet's Choice column this morning by Edward Hirsch: "I have long been haunted by W. B. Yeats's penultimate poem 'Cuchulain Comforted,' which he completed just two weeks before his death. Here the eponymous heroic warrior inexplicably finds himself welcomed into the otherworld by singing cowards, his exact opposites in life, whom he joins in death. "The hero, absorbed into a purgatorial otherworld, has to await resurrection and reincarnation," as R.F. Foster puts it in the second and concluding volume of his splendid new biography of Yeats, W.B. Yeats, A Life, II: The Arch-Poet, (Oxford Univ., $45): 'WBY's last poetic vision of the afterlife is not a refuge 'where the blessed dance,' nor the transforming dolphin-journey to Byzantium, nor even the reunion rehearsed in numerous seance rooms, but a banishment to the company of outcasts.'

The wonderful rohandove led me to this site which has a tiny, terrible MOV file with snippets from Star Wars: Episode III, including glimpses of Hayden and Ewan prcticing fights in costume and goofing off together, played to AC/DC. It is astonishing to discover that anything can get me excited about Star Wars after AOTC, but it kind of did.

Home Sweet Nest II

And GIP, because it's been, well, days.

And from The Guardian, because Paul Bettany put me so in the mood for it with this: "As in A Beautiful Mind, [Bettany] ended up playing Russell Crowe's sensitive alter ego. Is this a role he plans to pursue? He laughs. 'Well, when my wife can't play Russell's wife, I play his wife. I am his bitch for ever now.'"

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