Beautiful Lofty Things
Beautiful lofty things: O’Leary’s noble head;
My father upon the Abbey stage, before him a raging crowd:
‘This Land of Saints’, and then as the applause died out,
‘Of plaster Saints’; his beautiful mischievous head thrown back.
Standish O’Grady supporting himself between the tables
Speaking to a drunken audience high nonsensical words;
Augusta Gregory seated at her great ormolu table,
Her eightieth winter approaching: ‘Yesterday he threatened my life.
I told him that nightly from six to seven I sat at this table,
The blinds drawn up’; Maud Gonne at Howth station waiting a train,
Pallas Athene in that straight back and arrogant head:
All the Olympians; a thing never known again.
Poetry Ireland Review Issue 116:
A WB Yeats Special Issue
This essential Yeats anniversary publication is edited by Vona Groarke and includes responses to Yeats’s legacy and readings of his poems from public figures as diverse as Bill Whelan, Neil Jordan, Colm Tóibín, Frank McGuinness, Mary Costello and John Banville, along with new poems responding to Yeats’s work by Irish and international poets such as Margaret Atwood, Sharon Olds, Philip Schultz, Sinéad Morrissey and Harry Clifton. The issue also includes Yeats’s poetry collections, reviewed by leading poets as if just published. Now also available in hardback.
"superb special edition" John Boland, Irish Independent
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