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In The Seven Woods

W. B. Yeats

Book Overview: 

In the Seven Woods is Yeats's first twentieth-century poetry collection. Its fourteen poems show him moving steadily away from the decisively Romantic diction of his earlier work. Here we hear a poetic voice that is at once more individual, colloquial and dramatic than previously. In addition, several poems sound a note of bitter lamentation over the marriage in 1903 of Maud Gonne, Yeats's great love and muse, to John MacBride.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .And he being laid upon green boughs

Was carried to the goodly house

Where the Hound of Ulad sat before

The brazen pillars of his door;

His face bowed low to weep the end

Of the harper’s daughter and her friend;

For although years had passed away

He always wept them on that day,

For on that day they had been betrayed;

And now that Honey-Mouth is laid

Under a cairn of sleepy stone

Before his eyes, he has tears for none,

14

Although he is carrying stone, but two

For whom the cairn’s but heaped anew.

We hold because our memory is

So full of that thing and of this

That out of sight is out of mind.

But the grey rush under the wind

And the grey bird with crooked bill

Have such long memories that they still

Remember Deirdre and her man,

And when we walk with Kate or Nan

About the windy wat. . . Read More

Community Reviews

"The Old Men admiring Themselves in the Water" is especially interesting. Pessimism more apparent in this work. Concerns about getting older.

I said 'a line will take us hours maybe,
Yet if it does not seem a moment's thought
Our stitching and unstitching has been naught.
Better go down upon your marrow bones
And scrub a kitchen pavement, or break stones
Like an old pauper in all kinds of weather;
For to articulate sweet sounds together
Is to wo

Enjoyable poetry.

Interesting early poems - magical in places, but perhaps I should have read this before The Celtic Twilight: Faerie and Folklore, transcribed from actual conversations, which makes it haunting and very special. At least one of the poems in In the Seven Woods: Being Poems Chiefly of the Irish Heroic

'When you find your Queen of Sheba you must not marry her because she wold destroy you.' - C.G. Jung to Miguel Serrano

Maud Gonne must have been Yeats' Queen of Sheba; as only after she rejected his proposal of marriage did he write this, his first really profound collection.

Another good collection of poems.
The 4th collection in the completed poems work by Yeats.
I liked:
- Never give all the heart

Never give all the heart, for love
Will hardly seem worth thinking of
To passionate women if it seem
Certain, and they never dream
That it fades out from kiss to kiss;
For everyt

A collection of 14 poems from 1904. Highlights - "never give all the heart" "Adam's curse" "o do not love too long" "in the seven woods"

It’s been far too long since I’ve read any of Yeats’ poetry, so it’s about time that I got back into it. Some of his collections are hit and miss for me, but In the Seven Woods was a very interesting read since it taps into the height of his interest in Celtic mysticism and nature-based themes. Acco

I'm reading the entirety of Yeats' work in conjunction with Whitman's "Leaves of Grass".
I understand exactly what Yeats is saying when he writes:
"Never give all the heart, for love
Will hardly seem worth thinking of
For everything that's lovely is
But a brief, dreamy, kind delight."
I find the above ver

Dream tredding aside, this very short collection is also very forgettable.

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