Once out of nature I shall never take
My bodily form from any natural thing,
But such a form as Grecian goldsmiths make…
William Butler Yeats

When I read it, it always wanders,
Sometimes it soars or sputters,
But never outright crashes;
If I recite it aloud, it roars
When it does not whimper or grimace:
An enlightened instant half-drowned.
When I read it, it frequently uncoils,
Sometimes it raises its head to my mouth,
But never reaches full height;         
If I whisper it to myself, it breathes
When it does not meet my lips and tongue:
A phantom rising from an unlit sea.
When I read it, it often changes shape,
Sometimes it flashes what it is and is not,
But still will not concede;
If the emperor deems to wake
When the bird of hammered gold takes flight:
A peculiar mark is left on incidental words.
So I pray to know, what is it?

© ross 2023
Views: 1761
No critique.
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

must ask if you are talking about the poem by Yeats or about what you think this poem is about


we may never find what it is
and die as clueless as when we were born.

Flag Content