Saturday, 10 April 2010

W.B. Yeats

W.B. Yeats
I like this photograph, he looks such a serious, intense young man. I have always been very fond of a quotation commonly attributed to Yeats; "Education is not the filling of a bucket, but the lighting of a fire", it encapsulates quite neatly a completely alternative view of what real learning is, and something central to the way I raised my children.
Looking at the site Poem Du Jour and clicking on the 'random' button, it gave me this one, entitled 'He wishes for the cloth of heaven':

Had I the heavens' embroidered cloths,
Enwrought with gold and silver light,
The blue and the dim and the dark cloths,
Of night and light and the half light,
I would spread the cloths under your feet:
But I, being poor, have only my dreams;
I have spread my dreams under your feet;
Tread softly, because you tread on my dreams.


  1. Ah, the godperson collosus, who single-handedly steered the course of Irish poetry in the English language, into the highest artistic stream of public consciousness.

    'Silly Willy', a Coole - Dublin - Sligo - London dreamer, national ideological visionary, hashish pill-popper who weaved the incoherent jumble of his life to a full capacity.

    Ireland's top language artist, a fili of the first order, and an ollamh whose never there was an otherworldly Tir na Og of Ireland, as a triple goddess of three Tuatha De Danann sisters and Queens of three kings, who held sway over the country at that time, a few thousand years ago.

    Yeats is the one to beat alright.

    Have a great day.

    Desmond Swords

  2. Et tu Martine? Do we have a source for this quote? Is there any evidence anywhere that Yeats ever strung these words together in any form? Old EO newsletters do not count as reliable sources ;-)

  3. This is my blog and I will maintain it to my own verification standards not those of Wikipedia, which as you know perfectly well cannot be trusted:-)
    If it makes you feel better I will add 'commonly attributed'.

  4. Great post and great response to comments!
    I also admire Yeats and can see the relevance of the quote, he is a great poet to share with children.


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