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Friends Analysis

Author: poem of William Butler Yeats Type: poem Views: 42

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Now must I these three praise --

Three women that have wrought

What joy is in my days:

One because no thought,

Nor those unpassing cares,

No, not in these fifteen

Many-times-troubled years,

Could ever come between

Mind and delighted mind;

And one because her hand

Had strength that could unbind

What none can understand,

What none can have and thrive,

Youth's dreamy load, till she

So changed me that I live

Labouring in ecstasy.

And what of her that took

All till my youth was gone

With scarce a pitying look?

How could I praise that one?

When day begins to break

I count my good and bad,

Being wakeful for her sake,

Remembering what she had,

What eagle look still shows,

While up from my heart's root

So great a sweetness flows

I shake from head to foot.


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||| Analysis | Critique | Overview Below |||

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Yeats wrote this poem while he was sitting on a toilet in Bloomsbury. The mysterious "her" mentioned in this poem refers to an old English teacher that Yeats met prior to his visit to the bathroom. The teacher made him realize the value of friendship; a realization which compelled Yeats to write the poem while taking a dump.
"Of what celebrations can be done for a good friend, I know not of." Yeats writes in his diary in 1914, after the publishing of the poem. "It seems to me that good friends do not come with ease and should be celebrated in every which way."
He fails to mention, however, that his romantic love for Maude Gonne has stolen the stage of the poem towards the last 10 lines; while the other two women mentioned (Olivia Shakespeare and Lady Gregory) are left in the dust of friendship.
Truely, Yeats did this on purpose?
When told about this strange aspect of the poem, Gonne met with Yeats immediatley and said, "Boy, why you so obsessed with me? Lying that your sexing me...Finally found a girl that you couldn't impress, something something somthing about Windex."
This conversation was overheard by Olivia Shakespeare, Yeats whore from 1896. She remembers grabbing Gonne's hair and tossing her in the French Riveria. How she managed to throw her that far (they were talking in NYC) is a mystery that remains unsolved even to this day.

| Posted on 2009-10-05 | by a guest

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