Where My Books Go by W.B. Yeats

Where My Books Go by W.B. Yeats.

All the words that I utter,
    And all the words that I write,
Must spread out their wings untiring,
    And never rest in their flight,
Till they come where your sad, sad heart is,
    And sing to you in the night,
Beyond where the waters are moving,
    Storm-darken'd or starry bright.
My Thoughts

As with a lot of Yeats’ poems, I find there’s a real comfort and more than a touch of beauty in here; the idea of words spreading their wings and being a savior of sorts, not only to sing (in itself a lovely thought) but to console, offer support and to be a kind of lifeboat in the waters (which are hopefully more starry bright than they are storm darkened), is one that I find really moving and uplifting.

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One of the reasons this poem is so pleasant to listen to is that it flows very nicely. It contains a very simple abcb rhyme and an uninterrupted rhythm that allows the words to roll off your tongue. My favorite line is ’till they come where your sad, sad heart is.’ The repetition of the word ‘sad’ conveys how much the speaker laments this sadness and feels for the addressee.

About Yeats

W.B. Yeats
W.B. Yeats

William Butler Yeats was an Irish poet and dramatist, and one of the foremost figures of 20th-century literature. A pillar of both the Irish and British literary establishments, in his later years Yeats served as an Irish Senator for two terms. He was a driving force behind the Irish Literary Revival, and along with Lady Gregory and Edward, Martyn founded the Abbey Theatre, serving as its chief during its early years. In 1923 he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature for what the Nobel Committee described as “inspired poetry, which in a highly artistic form gives expression to the spirit of a whole nation.” He was the first Irishman so honored. Yeats is generally considered one of the few writers who completed their greatest works after being awarded the Nobel Prize; such works include The Tower (1928) and The Winding Stair and Other Poems (1929).


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