Monday, December 22, 2008

The Circus Animals' Desertion II

"The Circus Animals' Desertion II"

In the first stanza of "The Circus Animals' Desertion," Yeats writes:

I sought a theme and sought for it in vain
I sought it daily for six weeks or so.
Maybe at last, being but a broken man,
I must be satisfied with my heart, although
Winter and summer till old age began
My circus animals were all on show
...that burnished chariot,
Lion and woman and the lord knows what.

Yeats looks back on his former poems with an element of regret. He seems to think that, like a circus, his early work was all for show. Yeats wants to find a way back to the true heart of his work.

My little drawing is of the chariot, the lion, and the woman, as well as a few circus animals. The clownish goat is my favorite, so I will probably put him in every picture I draw in this series.

On another note: it has been so cold today. Last night, high winds shook the icy trees. All night ice shards were hurled against the house. The dogs were very upset by all the wild noise. I've never seen weather exactly like this before. It has just been a bitter, bitter night and day.

At around 7 a.m. our electricity went out and stayed off all day. It wasn't restored until almost 7 p.m. We heat with wood, so we were fairly warm, although the temperatures continued to drop through the day until it was below zero. The wind sucked the warmth out of this old house and before we knew it our pipes were starting to freeze in the bathrooms. This is not a problem we usually have. We caught the problem just in time.


Judith HeartSong said...

This series is fantastic Theresa.

V said...

Brrrrr. All OK?

V said...

Theresa, Could Yeats also be saying that he was trying to compose from his ego [& his lived experience]as he has so often done in the past, but can find no inspiration there?

Perhaps it was time for him to reflect on perceptions rather than his interpretations of them.

Thanks for making me think. I do need to read Theresa.

Theresa Williams said...

Yes, V, I think that is an entirely valid interpretation!



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"I was no better than dust, yet you cannot replace me. . . Take the soft dust in your hand--does it stir: does it sing? Has it lips and a heart? Does it open its eyes to the sun? Does it run, does it dream, does it burn with a secret, or tremble In terror of death? Or ache with tremendous decisions?. . ." --Conrad Aiken


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