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Mad As Mists And Snow

January 5, 2018

Mad As The Mist And Snow

Bolt and bar the shutter,
For the foul winds blow:
Our minds are at their best this night,
And I seem to know
That everything outside us is
Mad as the mist and snow.

Horace there by Homer stands,
Plato stands below,
And here is Tully’s open page.
How many years ago
Were you and I unlettered lads
Mad as the mist and snow?

You ask what makes me sigh, old friend,
What makes me shudder so?
I shudder and I sigh to think
That even Cicero
And many-minded Homer were
Mad as the mist and snow.

William Butler Yeats 1918

COMMENTARY: We had a snow storm here today with hard winds blowing the snow up sideways and making a kind of mist, so I thought I’d post this poem. The music speaks for itself, so not much to say about it. Robert Bly apparently used to recite this one during his readings with a ferocious sneer and lots of spitting and hissing on the S’s “”even Cic-er-OWE!”


From → Nature

One Comment
  1. How did I stumble upon this today? Lots of mist, though not so much Yeatsian as Keatsian, mellow mists. Or maybe this kind of weather:

    It is December in Wicklow:
    Alders dripping, birches
    Inheriting the last light,
    The ash tree cold to look at.

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