Yeats: good on widening gyre, bad on love

Advice for young lovers on reading Yeats:

Never, ever try to figure out romance by sitting around and reading Yeats. It gives you the idea that unrequited love is an extreme sport made for uncoes:

[…]every year I have cried, ‘At length
My darling understands it all,
Because I have come into my strength,
And words obey my call’

It should be banned. I feel sorry for the poor young ladies who have to put with moony, bookish boys sitting round offering them dorky and charmless adoration, particularly when the lads get tearfully puzzled at the lack of reciprocation….

Of interest to Yeats, Pound and Maud Gonne fans: the TLS on Iseult Gonne’s letters to the poets. Iseult was Maud Gonne’s beautiful and tragic “adopted ‘cousin.'”


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