Sunday, December 13, 2009

Stolen Child: Issa's Sunday Service, #33

Monday the 14th of December is the birthday of Mike Scott of The Waterboys. From perhaps their finest album, certainly my favorite and their most successful commercially, Fisherman's Blues, comes their rendition of W. B. Yeats's haunting, dark fairy story, "The Stolen Child," which is this week's Litrock selection for Issa's Sunday Service. Here's the original poem by Yeats:

The Stolen Child

WHERE dips the rocky highland
Of Sleuth Wood in the lake,
There lies a leafy island
Where flapping herons wake
The drowsy water rats;
There we've hid our faery vats,
Full of berrys
And of reddest stolen cherries.
Come away, O human child!
To the waters and the wild
With a faery, hand in hand,
For the world's more full of weeping
---than you can understand

Where the wave of moonlight glosses
The dim gray sands with light,
Far off by furthest Rosses
We foot it all the night,
Weaving olden dances
Mingling hands and mingling glances
Till the moon has taken flight;
To and fro we leap
And chase the frothy bubbles,
While the world is full of troubles
And anxious in its sleep.
Come away, O human child!
To the waters and the wild
With a faery, hand in hand,
For the world's more full of weeping
---than you can understand.

Where the wandering water gushes
From the hills above Glen-Car,
In pools among the rushes
That scarce could bathe a star,
We seek for slumbering trout
And whispering in their ears
Give them unquiet dreams;
Leaning softly out
From ferns that drop their tears
Over the young streams.
Come away, O human child!
To the waters and the wild
With a faery, hand in hand,
For the world's more full of weeping
---than you can understand.

Away with us he's going,
The solemn-eyed:
He'll hear no more the lowing
Of the calves on the warm hillside
Or the kettle on the hob
Sing peace into his breast,
Or see the brown mice bob
Round and round the oatmeal chest.
For he comes, the human child,
To the waters and the wild
With a faery, hand in hand,
For the world's more full of weeping
---than he can understand.

Scott adds the refrain from Yeats's poem at the opening and so its serves as the chorus for the song. Very nicely done, indeed. This is the first appearance for both The Waterboys and Yeats on the LitRock list, but I have a feeling it won't be the last.

The Waterboys have put together and will be performing an all-Yeats show in March 2010 at the Abbey Theatre in Dublin. The 5 shows have almost completely sold out. No doubt this will be something of an historical event; one can only hope that a recording will be made, either live or in the studio afterward.


This week's featured poem comes from Lilliput Review #52, from December 1993. Here's a number from Pittsburgh's finest purveyor of the short poem, Bart Solarczyk. Enjoy.

Words (for Keith Richards)
Most things come & go.
Some things last forever.
We are all forgiven.
None of us is saved.
Bart Solarczyk

And the master:

have you come
to save us haiku poets?
red dragonfly

translated by David G. Lanoue



Jessica Fenlon said...

Thanks for this!

~ Jessica

Charles Gramlich said...

very nice. Really captures the fey spirit. I'm impressed.

Ed Baker said...

My first Yeats?

that reissue of Yeat's

1938 A Vision of 1956 and
the brown-covered paper-back of 1961

and then Rosenthal's Selected poems and two plays, 1962

one could "get stuck" in Yeats' and learn everything

just Sail off towards Byzantium "Turning and turning in the widening gyre"

"That is no country for old men.

then meet Crazy Jane on the road talking to the Bishop!

their all Yeats' show in Dublin?

maybe a PBS, I hope-hope, recorded event...

aw heck

just start with

"A Packet for Ezra Pound"

never look back...

Bart said...

Thanks Don.

Issa's Untidy Hut said...

Jessica, thanks and happy to see you retweeted it ...

Charles, in all the senses of the term ...

Ed, the Rosenthal was the step in for me, too, than just consumed and was consumed by the "old" complete poems ... before I knew what I was reading, probably ... I believe it's time for a prolonged revisit ...

Crazy Jane ... Ben Bulba ...

Ed Baker said...

am not talking of that red-covered updated edition out of Collier Books 1966 I have the 5 th printing of it 1976

but rather the Macmillan 1962 edition with the muddy gray-ish/brown-ish cover

I have the fifth printing of it 1965

the red one cost $3.50

the earlier edition cost $1.95

the red one has lots of marginal notes like it was a required text in a "modern" poetry class..

the first copy just has my checks by some poems and in Table of contents..

neat how Yeats and Pound "rat-tat-tatted"
... for "lesser" minds
it could have driven them nutz!

I mean,, what hat which specs which top coat to wear today to be


Issa's Untidy Hut said...

Yes, indeed, mine was the red cover, Ed - have to go back and look @ "Packet for Pound" ...

Ed Baker said...

I think that red edition
is yet "out there"

a Collier Books production of the earlier Macmillan edition

I think Collier was an imprint (for more larger distributiioning to college students "studfying" "modern Poetry or Yeats..

thus the reason that the price about doubled!

maybe curtis can "clear this up... and maybe sell some of those earlier editions...

I just found a neat piece that I did in 1972 or so..
got dates on the bottom that says

4/30/98 5/5/98 and not 1970 (or so

1998 must have been date that I retyped this

The Performance (for John Cage)


uhaul know this ain't just the thread of a loon-oh-tick this is
only merely
meanderings in mind is what precedes definitive-ities

..and damn serious!

Issa's Untidy Hut said...

I'll take your meanderings any time, my friend ... very much enjoyed "The Performance" ... maybe a little too much "action" for Mr. JC, the ever moving spotlight is classic ...