Thursday, 6 December 2012

Poetry Reads: He Wishes for the Cloths of Heaven by WB Yeats

Maud Gonne


One of my all time favorite poets, WB Yeats, I was introduced to his poetry as a teenager in an O’ Lit class in Mayo.


It’s a simple love poem that I’m sure would always tug at the sensitive strings of an individual. The sheer richness of its language and imagery define the narrator’s love for the beloved. In other words, the poem resonates Yeats’ love for Maud Gonne, the Irish revolutionary, feminist and actress. The ‘dreams’ suggested in this poem juxtapose and reveal love. Love and respect are what he has to offer – ‘spread the cloths under your feet’. The ‘cloths’ are imaginary; it feels like a tapestry of hope, romance, love, and admiration. Simply marvelous!


He Wishes for the Cloths of Heaven 
by WB Yeats

HAD I the heavens' embroidered cloths,
Enwrought with golden 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.


(Review by Kabita Sonowal)

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