The Writer's Life: Film & Book Reviews, Observations, and Stories
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The Fate of Irish Writers

yeats_house1.jpgThe poet William Butler Yeats, perhaps the greatest poet of the last century, lived in the tower house he refurbished for his wife George not far from Gort at the edge of the Burren. Like many important monuments in the west of Ireland, it is also a source of grass for cattle and a repository for trash. The visitor steps around cow pies and a pile of refuse along the river when seeing the poet’s famous home and wonders what is in the minds of the Galway County Council for not maintaining it properly. Lady Gregory’s grounds at Coole Park are better kept, because the Irish government have made a park out of it. Still her house was allowed to fall into ruin and only the foundation remains. lady_gregorys_stables.jpgThe distance between Yeats’ castle and Coole Park is a few miles and I could visualize Yeats making the journey on horseback to eat, drink, talk, and wander among the grounds with his friends. Luckily, words are more rugged than buildings, and Yeats will very likely survive as long as English is spoken as a language.

For my dad, whom I love with all my heart, I transcribe these famous lines and put them here for him to read:

An aged man is but a paltry thing,
A tattered coat upon a stick, unless
Soul clap its hands and sing, and louder sing…

February 24, 2008   1 Comment