Mar 28, 2011

The Cat and the Moon

William Butler Yeats is my favorite literary figure we have been studying here in Ireland. I am fascinated by his life story, and I absolutely love his poetry. He writes of fairies and forests and cats (my kind of guy), plus other more important things like the history of Ireland.

We spent an entire day in the West of the country traveling to places that inspired some of his most well known poems. We saw a waterfall, lake, forest, and his grave and memorial. Plus we went to his exhibit at the National Library of Ireland. I bought a giant and beautiful white book which contains all of his poems along with commentary and explanations from other writers.

I love learning about things and people that truly come to life. But I guess this whole semester has been like that really.

Here is one of my faves,

The Cat and the Moon

The cat went here and there
And the moon spun round like a top,
And the nearest kin of the moon,
The creeping cat, looked up.
Black Minnaloushe stared at the moon,
For, wander and wail as he would,
The pure cold light in the sky
Troubled his animal blood.
Minnaloushe runs in the grass
Lifting his delicate feet.
Do you dance, Minnaloushe, do you dance?
When two close kindred meet,
What better than call a dance?
Maybe the moon may learn,
Tired of that courtly fashion,
A new dance turn.
Minnaloushe creeps through the grass
From moonlit place to place,
The sacred moon overhead
Has taken a new phase.
Does Minnaloushe know that his pupils
Will pass from change to change,
And that from round to crescent,
From crescent to round they range?
Minnaloushe creeps through the grass
Alone, important and wise,
And lifts to the changing moon
His changing eyes.

-- William Butler Yeats

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