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Crazy Jane On The Day Of Judgment Analysis

Author: Poetry of William Butler Yeats Type: Poetry Views: 434

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'Love is all


That cannot take the whole

Body and soul';

And that is what Jane said.

'Take the sour

If you take me

I can scoff and lour

And scold for an hour.'

"That's certainly the case,' said he.

'Naked I lay,

The grass my bed;

Naked and hidden away,

That black day';

And that is what Jane said.

'What can be shown?

What true love be?

All could be known or shown

If Time were but gone.'

'That's certainly the case,' said he.


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I assume Jane is being called "crazy" by people who hinge their judgment of her based on of her last crazy-like actions
She's pleading her case on her last day of judgment, but I don't necessarily think this means that she is dying, has died, is explaining her life after the fact, etc. In fact, I tend to believe she is saying this at the end of some sort of long term relationship, with perhaps a beloved one, a community of people, or even herself ...
My take on this poem - knowing nothing about whether this individual ever actually existed - is that she is pleading with people to offer her grace by looking at the entirety of her actions instead of the most recent or most famous - she admits that she has her negative points, that she has been vulnerable and maybe even hurt - she is asking that she / and her life - be evaluated as a sum of averages, in grays, as they unfolded over time.
The "he" in this poem - He may be a judge, but I suspect that he is an ex-lover. I suspect that she loves him enough to want him to understand.
But she also seems cynical in his - or anyone else's - ability to do so. At the end she seems to believe that the only way that the entirety of her life can be properly judged (if it must be - this seems put upon her) is if time were to seem to exist, so that instead of having her life being viewed as a chronological series of black and white stripes, that it may, at last in its entirety all at once - be seen in terms of gray. She seems to have lived a turbulent life - or perhaps this particular relationship was turbulent?), but she's pleading to be judged based on the whole. And she wants to be lived. Maybe if someone could see this gray she might be loved ...

| Posted on 2016-10-05 | by a guest

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