Sunday, October 9, 2011

Song of Wandering Aengus: Issa's Sunday Service, No. 122

Today's selection of a W. B. Yeats poem performed by Donovan was a suggestion from a Facebook friend that I couldn't resist, particularly while still in mourning over the passing of Bert Jansch.

The Song of Wandering Aengus

Went out to the hazel wood,
Because a fire was in my head,
And cut and peeled a hazel wand,
And hooked a berry to a thread;

And when white moths were on the wing,
And moth-like stars were flickering out,
I dropped the berry in a stream
And caught a little silver trout.

When I had laid it on the floor
I went to blow the fire a-flame,
But something rustled on the floor,
And some one called me by my name:
It had become a glimmering girl
With apple blossom in her hair
Who called me by my name and ran
And faded through the brightening air.

Though I am old with wandering
Through hollow lands and hilly lands,
I will find out where she has gone,
And kiss her lips and take her hands;
And walk among long dappled grass,
And pluck till time and times are done
The silver apples of the moon,
The golden apples of the sun.
William Butler Yeats

There are have been any number of great renderings of this W. B. Yeats poem.  Two follow, the first a delightful animation to a recitation of the poem and the second a great rendition by the Dutch band Fling, who specialize in Irish music.

I can't shake the Bert Jansch blues, so here is Donovan's song, "Bert's Blues," for his old friend, from way back in 1966.  R.I.P., Mr. Jansch:

Finally, a set of 6 tunes by Bert: "Blues," "October Song," "The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face," "Gypsy Dave," "Nobody's Bar," and "Rosemary Lane."


Had a couple of guesses, via email and Facebook, of what poem it might be that the artwork I posted was based on but nobody got it.  I guess that it will have to remain a mystery for all except the artist and myself.


This week's poem comes from the Lilliput Review archive comes from  #66, a broadside of the work of Albert Huffstickler.  Enjoy.

Please No Applause Till After the Performance is Over
He walks to the corner,
turns back, walks
halfway down the block,
gathers himself together,
turns decisively,
and marches back
to the corner.
He's been doing this
for an hour.
He's rehearsing something,
God knows what.
He may not know himself anymore.
There was something
he was going to do
and never did.
Now he's rehearsing
getting back on track.
Don't mock him.
If you've
never been there,
you don' know how he feels.
If you have
and aren't now,
be grateful
            Albert Huffsticker


autumn wind--
walking along the valley's cliff
my shadow
translated by David G. Lanoue


Send a single haiku for the Wednesday Haiku feature. Here's how.

Go to the LitRock web site for a list of all 122 songs


Charles Gramlich said...

What a great piece by Yeatsti

Rupert said...

Ken Kesey used to recite that Yeats at his warrior talks - lovely - and thx for the Bert J tribute!

Memory Echoes said...

I was going to opine that no recording of this epic Yeats poem could possibly compare to Yeats' own recitations of his poetry. His unique incantatory style makes me muse on his magickal workings with The Golden Dawn, which inform his poetry as much as his relationships with Ireland and Maud Gonne, seems to me.

Then I listened to the Dutch band. Holy whatthefuck! Amazing musical rendering.

However, I took a listen

Issa's Untidy Hut said...

Yes, indeed, Charles.

Ah, Kesey and Yeats and warrior talks. Thanks for pointing that out, makes perfect sense, Rupert.

Yes, ME, it was my first time hearing Fling also - I was skeptical but wow. Couldn't find the Yeats on the web - his estate is pretty protective. I know we have it at the library though.