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Lapis Lazuli Analysis



Author: Poetry of William Butler Yeats Type: Poetry Views: 2189

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i{(For Harry Clifton)}



I HAVE heard that hysterical women say

They are sick of the palette and fiddle-bow.

Of poets that are always gay,

For everybody knows or else should know

That if nothing drastic is done

Aeroplane and Zeppelin will come out.

Pitch like King Billy bomb-balls in

Until the town lie bearen flat.



All perform their tragic play,

There struts Hamlet, there is Lear,

That's Ophelia, that Cordelia;

Yet they, should the last scene be there,

The great stage curtain about to drop,

If worthy their prominent part in the play,

Do not break up their lines to weep.

They know that Hamlet and Lear are gay;

Gaiety transfiguring all that dread.

All men have aimed at, found and lost;

Black out; Heaven blazing into the head:

Tragedy wrought to its uttermost.

Though Hamlet rambles and Lear rages,

And all the drop-scenes drop at once

Upon a hundred thousand stages,

It cannot grow by an inch or an ounce.



On their own feet they came, or On shipboard,'

Camel-back; horse-back, ass-back, mule-back,

Old civilisations put to the sword.

Then they and their wisdom went to rack:

No handiwork of Callimachus,

Who handled marble as if it were bronze,

Made draperies that seemed to rise

When sea-wind swept the corner, stands;

His long lamp-chimney shaped like the stem

Of a slender palm, stood but a day;

All things fall and are built again,

And those that build them again are gay.



Two Chinamen, behind them a third,

Are carved in lapis lazuli,

Over them flies a long-legged bird,

A symbol of longevity;

The third, doubtless a serving-man,

Carries a musical instmment.



Every discoloration of the stone,

Every accidental crack or dent,

Seems a water-course or an avalanche,

Or lofty slope where it still snows

Though doubtless plum or cherry-branch

Sweetens the little half-way house

Those Chinamen climb towards, and I

Delight to imagine them seated there;

There, on the mountain and the sky,

On all the tragic scene they stare.

One asks for mournful melodies;

Accomplished fingers begin to play.

Their eyes mid many wrinkles, their eyes,

Their ancient, glittering eyes, are gay.










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

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penetrating comment in reference to how the poem should be read.

| Posted on 2013-11-05 | by a guest


.: :.

This poem represents the almost constant pressure on human society to renew and regenerate the what has been lost. With the new generation coming into its own as the turn of the century passes we as artist have a responsibility to the following generations to provide what will be needed in the future. In conclusion, the poem should be read aloud in a voice as emotional and resounding as possible so that the full effect of the words and alliteration can be felt through the body, mind and even soul if it is read just right. What will follow is a mystical experience that can not be described, but is ineffable. Wondering what it means to understand a poem to this degree is like experiencing racism to the "n"th degree with a staduim of people watching

| Posted on 2005-04-18 | by Approved Guest




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