Wednesday, February 6, 2008


The first poem I ever memorized, besides nursery rhymes and kid poems ("roses are red...") is Yeats' "That the Night Come":
She lived in storm and strife,
Her soul had such desire
For what proud death may bring
That it could not endure
The common good of life,
But lived as 'twere a king
That packed his marriage day
With banneret and pennon,
Trumpet and kettledrum,
And the outrageous cannon,
To bundle time away
That the night come.
This is still one of my sentimental favorites, and particularly good for February, a month in which the only excitement I can usually hope for is a big snowstorm that will force me to stay inside and go stir crazy. I can't say why it's been a part of my mental wallpaper for so long. I was not the kind of child who wore black and longed for death. I'm pretty sure I didn't fully understand why the king was impatient for night and his marriage bed. I think I liked the feeling of the poem, the impatience with the everyday.

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