In honour of Paddy’s Day, the day when the land of poets and scholars is honoured by the worldwide consumption of millions of gallons of stout, here’s a few old poems of Ireland’s greatest poet, William Butler Yeats.
The first clip has the old bugger reading a few of his poems himself, including ‘The Lake Isle of Innisfree,‘The Fiddler of Dooney,’ ‘The Song of the Old Mother’ and ‘Coole Park & Ballylee.’
Read beautifully, with all the rhythms of poetry. “I took me a devil of a lot of trouble to get into verse the poems that I am going to read,” he says,”and that is why I will not read them as if they were prose.”
Here’s his best, ‘The Second Coming.’ For “rough beast,” some might read “drooling beast”:
Here’s a beautiful animation of his short ‘Cloths of Heaven.’
And here’s a choreographed piece—yes, with dancers an’ all—set to Yeats’ ‘Song of Wandering Aengus’ sung by Christy Moore.’ It’s said to look best if watched in a darkened room. And presumably with a drink. A dark one