The Little Review (littlereview) wrote,
The Little Review
littlereview

Poem for Wednesday


Easter 1916
By W.B. Yeats


I have met them at close of day
Coming with vivid faces
From counter or desk among grey
Eighteenth-century houses.
I have passed with a nod of the head
Or polite meaningless words,
Or have lingered awhile and said
Polite meaningless words,
And thought before I had done
Of a mocking tale or a gibe
To please a companion
Around the fire at the club,
Being certain that they and I
But lived where motley is worn:
All changed, changed utterly:
A terribly beauty is born.

That woman's days were spent
In ignorant good-will,
Her nights is argument
Until her voice grew shrill.
What voice more sweet than hers
When, young and beautiful,
She rode to harriers?
This man had kept a school
And rode our wingèd horse;
This other his helper and friend
Was coming into his force;
He might have won fame in the end,
So sensitive his nature seemed,
So daring and sweet his thought.
This other man I had dreamed
A drunken, vainglorious lout.
He had done most bitter wrong
To some who are near my heart,
Yet I number him in the song;
He, too, has resigned his part
In the casual comedy;
He, too, has been changed in his turn,
Transformed utterly:
A terrible beauty is born.

Hearts with one purpose alone
Through summer and winter seem
Enchanted to a stone
To trouble the living stream.
The horse that comes from the road,
The rider, the birds that range
From cloud to tumbling cloud,
Minute by minute they change;
A shadow of cloud on the stream
Changes minute by minute;
A horse-hoof slides on the brim,
And a horse plashes within it;
The long-legged moor-hens dive,
And hens to moor-cocks call;
Minute to minute they live;
The stone's in the midst of all.

Too long a sacrifice
Can make a stone of the heart.
O when may it suffice?
That is Heaven's part, our part
To murmur name upon name,
As a mother names her child
When sleep at last has come
On limbs that had run wild.
What is it but nightfall?
No, no, not night but death;
Was it needless death after all?
For England may keep faith
For all that is done and said.
We know their dream; enough
To know they dreamed and are dead;
And what if excess of love
Bewildered them till they died?
I write it out in a verse --
MacDonagh and MacBride
And Connolly and Pearse
Now and in time to be,
Wherever green is worn,
Are changed, changed utterly:
A terrible beauty is born.

--------

Quieter Tuesday than Monday -- sister and her family were downtown sightseeing most of the day, older son had his model seder at Hebrew school so wasn't terribly hungry for dinner, younger son did his homework quite willingly because I told him that we could go to the card store afterward to see if we could find a Slivers Magic deck, if that is even the right name, for older son and some new pirate ship card game for him. Turns out the card store had neither -- the Slivers cards are a couple of years old and quite expensive on eBay (hey, anyone around here have a used deck in non-mint condition that your kids no longer want that you're willing to part with for less than mint-condition prices?) and the pirate game wasn't cards exactly. Then apaulled came home, after stopping in Target for some necessities, with the aforementioned pirate cards that I hadn't even heard of before this afternoon and they turned out to be...


Tall ships! Pirates of the Spanish Main card game packs come with two pop-out-and-build ships, many of which are pirate and Spanish vessels but a whole bunch of which are British warships and smaller Royal Navy ships! Here is Rosie admiring one...well, about to bat at it, anyway.


This is the HMS Leicester, which is mine. apaulled got one pack for each family member and I did not originally receive this ship -- I had one pirate ship and one Spanish ship -- but younger son broke a piece of this one while putting it together and was disconsolate, so I traded with him, gluing the spanker back together, and received this beauty. I also got a three-masted pirate ship, the Shadow, which is an "uncommon" ship. *g* The packs come with booty, crew and instructions, but I have not yet mastered the finer points of the game, because...


...as if that were not enough, apaulled also got us this game for the computer, since we all had so much fun at the Royal Naval Museum playing their electronic "command your own warship" game (the one where our crew overthrew us because I had brought more lime juice than rum aboard, silly me, fearing scurvy more than mutiny).


Now we can fight the Battle of the Nile and Trafalgar in our own home. Look, the studly Nelson is even on the box! Considering that my work-related hate mail this week has not only focused on my "feministic" insanity but on the fact that I must not be happily married because any woman who was getting laid regularly would not resent green Orion dancing girls taking over Enterprise in their less-than-bikinis, I thought I should report on how very much my spouse indulges me. Heh.
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Any day during which Age of Sail geekery is so deeply indulged must be counted as a good day, even if the College of Cardinals did not pick the sort of Pope I had hoped they would choose, though I suppose that it's not really my business since I am not Catholic. On the other hand, the Pope's influence over non-Catholics as well as millions of Catholics is formidable, and to go from a Pope whose outreach to Jews and apologies to victims of the Holocaust and other hate crimes was unprecedented to one who grew up in the Hitler Youth...well, it doesn't make me feel great. The Church under Benedict XVI is likely to continue to refuse communion to those who have remarried and those who oppose making abortion illegal, yet allow it for those who have participated in crimes against humanity. He wants to canonize a previous Pope who encouraged Catholics to cooperate with Nazi rule rather than try to help those being slaughtered among them. He is likely to similarly ignore if not tacitly approve institutionalized prejudice against gays and lesbians. And millions will die of AIDS in Africa and Latin America without condom use. So I guess it really is everyone's business.

My fan fiction is now friends-locked in this journal, with the exception of the most recent story which will be locked at the end of the week. You won't even be able to see the list in my memories if you are not logged in and on my friends list. I am happy to add anyone who's old enough to be reading it, though I do have one request: add me to your friends list if you want to be on mine. I'm not terribly comfortable with the idea of knowing that people may be locking me out when I'm letting them in. I feel a lot better, both in terms of the unauthorized archiving and in terms of the possibility that people I know in real life or I might work with or who might know my children could find it here and associate it with me.

We are going to try to spend more time with my sister and her kids before they head back north, so will not be around much...one of these days I really will catch up!
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