Reciting Sailing to Byzantium by WB Yeats



For the week and day that was in it, I couldn't resist taking a journey to a holy city.

I always found Yeats' Sailing to Byzantium magical; the rich, incantatory language has a genuinely elevating, transporting quality. However, creating such a world is one kind of genius.


Being able to create this universe which may well have nothing to do with the historical city, the shabby port-city the Emperor Constantine happened to chose as his eastern capital, is one thing. But to succeed in channeling such raw, visceral human emotions is entirely another kind of genius.


I think this explains the magic of this poem by Yeats. What the reader encounters is either raw feeling, or a philosophical reflection of time, but somehow both.


If you have any thoughts, reflections or observations of your own, please do not hesitate to share.


Next week, I will be reading Begin by Brendan Kennelly, as requested by the fine artist, photographer and writer Barbara Robinson.


The following week I will read I am Kerry by Seigerson Clifford, as requested by Andrew Haworth.


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