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Aedh Wishes for the Clothes of Heaven Analysis



Author: Poetry of William Butler Yeats Type: Poetry Views: 4168





Had I the heavens' embroidered cloths,

Enwrought with golden and silver light,

The blue and the dim and the dark cloths

Of night and light and the half light,

I would spread the cloths under your feet:

But I, being poor, have only my dreams;

I have spread my dreams under your feet;

Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.





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

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The blue and the dim and the dark cloths--- the day and the evening and the night---every minute of my life I would give to you but in the end what I have to give you are my dreams. For a poet, wouldn\'t that be his poems? He gives the labor that comes forth in words, shares those with the person he loves, and asks for her acceptance of his gifts. His poems are based on thoughts and beliefs and emotions. He asks for acceptance of who he is and what he does.

| Posted on 2011-09-18 | by a guest


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This is such a heart felt and romantic poem of which me these days are lacking the unrecuited love of Yeats and Maud Gonne such a wonderful poem 10/10

| Posted on 2009-10-16 | by a guest


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From what I understand about this poem it was inspired from Yeats unrequited love of Maud Gonne. If that is the case then, to me, it suggests that this poem, whilst still a romantic poem, is more about infatuation then actual romance.
He wishes to give her the impossible - the Heavens and the sky - but can only give her the uncertain - his future hopes, particularly a future that involves her. However this is followed by a beautifully oppressive image: 'Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.' She 'treads' on his dreams which seems to suggest that she is preventing them from fully developing.
This hasn't really explained my thoughts exactly on this poem but is just the general gist from what I understand about it.

| Posted on 2009-10-15 | by a guest


.: :.

perhaps his fear of his love for her? why else would he ask her to "tread softly"... carefully.perhaps he is expressing his love...but not sure of her's?

| Posted on 2009-04-25 | by a guest


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If this poem is about God, then He must be one sexy God.
It's about being in love. Romantic love... the kind that renders you totally powerless and leaves you a changed person. The kind experienced between people with parts that fit together.
It's as simple as it is timeless. He's saying, "Baby I'd give you the moon and stars, if I could... So don't break my heart."
On another website people were harping over how much better the poem would be if the last line used 'for' instead of 'because'.
At first I agreed, but then I thought about it long and hard while I was on john. If he meant to say because, not for, then people should respect that.
I think people want it to say 'for' because they like to think of things from long-ago as romanticky and different from things now.
The pictures we have from back then are sepia toned, but that doesn't mean that people didn't fight and f*ck and bleed and love with the same vivid colour that we all live with in each present moment now.

| Posted on 2008-09-20 | by a guest


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this poem is a very powerful piece. the monk wanting to give all to God if he had it shows his love for God. He is willing to give all to the heavenly father even if all is only himself.

| Posted on 2008-02-04 | by a guest


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I will just add, it is apparent Yeats is completely powerless before the woman he loves, contradictory to the general 'male dominating' attitudes floating around during this era (as the notable progression of women in status did not take place til atleast 1920+)

Dreams being a powerful theme, something seperate from the real world, and yet, this woman,seems to have access, more the ability, to affect his dreams, taking love to a much more spiritual level.

| Posted on 2006-03-02 | by Approved Guest


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Yeats' verse recalls St. Anselm's "Ontological Argument for the Existence of God" -- that God is that Being than Whom nothing greater can be imagined. Yeats'

Aedh's love for his beloved woman is "a love made in and of and by Heaven" beyond which no other Earthly love can be imagined. Not even the finest "red carpet" spread beneath her feet could approach the beauty; the majesty; the infinity of depth and breadth; the devotion, honor, respect, and admiration; the completeness of self-sacrificial love of Aedh for the woman he loves.

Never before, or since, has there been, or could there be, such a love of a man for a woman. Except that every true lover loves his beloved in this way!

Why would he offer her the very "cloths of Heaven" for her footsteps? Because he knows that she is Heaven's own gift to him on Earth -- God's own mate for his soul, match for his mind, and rhythm for his heart. He knows where she has dropped from, into his life, and where their love was made, and by Whom ... and he desires to make his beloved feel "at home" with him here on Earth.

He laments too, that he is not God, that he can merely dream of what he would do for her if he were God, that he can offer her only a mere image of Heaven, for he is made in a mere image of God. He can offer her not the hospitality of Heaven, but merely the hospitality of his Earthly dreams. That is the best he has -- not the gold and silver of mere Earth, but the "golden and silver light" of Heaven, her home.

His love for her is pure and eternal, though, just as God's love for him and her was pure and eternal when He gave them His greatest gift, their love for each other, a "match made in Heaven."

P. S. If you don't think so, then think again...

| Posted on 2005-11-30 | by Approved Guest


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Learah in her analisis of this poem asked the question, "what makes this poem great." She didnt really seam to answer it however. She talked about form, balance, some of the unique qualities exhibited in this peice, and so forth.

I want to talk about what I think makes this poem great. Maybe you will completely disagree, but this is how I see it. I think it is the combination of the imagry and the underlying massage. I think WBY captures something here that is foundational to human existance.

Through the imagery used WBY describes these "hevenly embroidered clothes" in detail. Surely, were we to see these hevenly clothes with our own eyes we would be no less than enraptured by them, umm duh, right? It is then obvious that these clothes would be beyond priceless, duhh again.

WBY cares so fervently for the person being adressed that he would lay these beautiful priceless clothes under her feet were they in his possestion. Wow, he must care a great deal indeed, right? But he is poor and has no such possestion after all. But he does have his dreams and he will lay them down for her to tread on. Dreams that he would lay even more hesitantly than he would the clothe. For him this is everything-his would, his being, everything. And so he begs tread softly because you are treading on my dreams.

He captures the desperation of love. And it is beautiful and it is gread.

Thats what I think

| Posted on 2004-07-23 | by leftof_red


.: Ahhhhh :.

Ah, this is a fantastic piece... perhaps one of his most famous for the last line. This was the first WBY poem that I ever saw. At once transported to a golden heaven of angels with a feather-soft step, landing on purple dream-clouds.

These pieces show us that there really are no rules in poetry. Nothing is set in stone. How many times here at elite do we see comments that say "I think you should change this word, because you already just used it here" (I am guilty of this commentary myself). The thing is though, that he really carries it off.

But HOW?

What discerns this piece an a time-honoured classic? It is beautiful, and as light as filigree, yet.. I have seen some writers offer work of a similar standard.
Was it perhaps the era in which it was inspired? Very dark and gloomy times, at the turn of the century. (I think it was turn of the century, please correct me if I have my dates mixed up as Ole Bill lasted a while, I think...) I don't know as much about his background as I should, but he did have a lifelong affair with Maude Gonne, a married woman, who he loved to the very death.

He uses balance here, with both light and darkness, but even the darkness is portrayed as beauty, as I think is explained in my interpretation of purple dream clouds...
I'm looking at this properly and trying to teach myself how to REALLy comment, and forget about what *I* see. He has a structure here, with the repetition, it *kind* of rhymes in the way that each sentence ends in a word that is repeated two lines down. Haven't seen that used before.. innovative method of combining both rhyme and repetition in an original manner... LOL so much for emoticon Bob! I is used regularly and yet does not detract from the poem, perhaps because the poem is not referring directly to WBY but to Aedh (for those who wish to know the pronounciation: Ade. The other variation is Aodh, Aodhan.. Aidan!) I know that there was a strong love of Celtic mythology which is apparent in his work, however I don't know of the story of Aedh but I will look it up, at least, and then I can come back and look at this piece again to see if it helps me understand a little more about the meaning within, as I cannot see why it would feature the name Aedh and yet to read it could be any form of first person write.. perhaps in mythology Aedh was in a similar postition to WBY and Maude Gonne, and Yeats felt he could identify with the character.. in fact I can't comment any further on this until I have researched the mythology.. will be back, with a good link!

| Posted on 2004-07-22 | by Learah




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