Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Interlude/When You Are Old



A short break from "heavy duty blogging" -

Robert Frost's Stopping by Woods.. used to be my favourite poem. Now I've found a new favourite poem. Sorry Frosty. This one's called When You Are Old and was written by William Butler Yeats. I'm not big on poems especially abstract ones and this one is pretty straightforward as far as I can tell but if you were to google it you'll find that its about "rich mythical imagery" and "an abstract image issuing from a more concrete description of loneliness and regret". Big words flummox me :). Let me enjoy the poem for what I feel it portrays. Love -


When you are old and grey and full of sleep,
And nodding by the fire, take down this book,
And slowly read, and dream of the soft look
Your eyes had once, and of their shadows deep;
How many loved your moments of glad grace,
And loved your beauty with love false or true,
But one man loved the pilgrim soul in you,
And loved the sorrows of your changing face;
And bending down beside the glowing bars,
Murmur, a little sadly, how Love fled
And paced upon the mountains overhead
And hid his face amid a crowd of stars.

Such a sad and beautiful poem .

Note: The 'imagery' in this blog entry was provided by U J-i .My constant pestering of her to take a picture of an old Mizo lady inspired her to blog about it :). You can go read about it on her blog -

19 comments:

Evangeline said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Evangeline said...

Like this poem... Its beautiful and sad at the same time... Like you, I prefer poems which are straight forward. Also, though i know its extremely cliched i liked the last few lines of frost's poem... though it tends to remind me of all that i still need to do before i "sleep"....

Kym said...

I am confused here...we say every new day is a blessing, but wait a minute does not every new day leads us closer to getting old? And I just had my latest BD blast. Every new day is a curse?

On the other hand I should better put it this way, growing old means knowing more, experiencing more and have more reasons to be happy for...

Calliopia said...

Lovely poem. Never came across it before though I know Yeats wrote some beautiful lyrics. I like the line about the man loving the sorrows of her changing face. Oh for someone to love me through all the changing seasons of life and all that...

Nice photo editing. Â pi would be tickled pink if she could see this.

illusionaire said...

Great rhyme. Love the poem. An apt pic for such a poem.

Mimihrahsel said...

lovely poem.. I always like it when they talk about growing old with someone you love, whether it be a poem or a song

yamuna said...

I likes this line "And loved the sorrows of your changing face", but why is he hiding behind the stars when she needs him the most?

I'd say "Love can never be lost"

If you love somebody(though this “somebody” does not know you love him/her), then the feeling of being in love can make anything less painful, even growing old.
But, it will surely be less painful to die in the arms of the person you love and hoping for that is what makes man's existence possible on earth…:)
BTW the picture is great; no wonder people want to learn photo shop from you…:)

Peer Gynt said...

my favourite of Yeats' is "He wishes for the cloths of Heaven", but this is a close, close second. 'm sho 'll favour it over the other once the gray hairs start to show hehee. always leaves me with a sad + warm and old + fleeting feeling and it gets me thinking of life (and love's) brevity...this poem bout a beloved. hope a grandson takes a pic of me when i get as gray-haired as this nice old lady and blogs about it on a wintry sunday evening. (if blogging outlives my gray hairs i.e. :D)

i have it from a reliable source (from the underworld) that your love will be blessed…by none other'n good ol' willie and ol' maid maud whose tormented souls finally found each other in the after-life :)

'Go and love, go and love, young man,
You are 'looped in the loops of her hair'

jesleen said...

just read j`s page and this one and i put 2 and 2 together and u know what that equals?2+2= moron ..lol..if its u ..a ngeiom leh vak love..cuz as far as i can rem u always talk to us like that lolll right j??

jesleen said...

you read yeats???then you arent as wasted as i thought u were mossy

Mos-a said...

@Evangeline - There is nothing cliched about Frost's poem. I wills still defend that pome although it is now my 2nd fav!

@ Kym - hmmm a contradiction there but growing old is not necessarily a "curse" as you later pointed out.

@ Calliopa - have you shown Api the Pic?

@Illusionaire - thanks :D

@mimihrahsel - im not as good as you in composing pomes so i copy pomes from other poets. btw this pome is not abt growing old together :( *cry*

@Yamuna - he is hiding 'cause the woman rejected the love he offered her

@Peer gynt - im glad to know that you liked this pome

@Jesleen - i resent being publicly called a moron. you will hear from my lawyers soon. When you divorcing that no good husband of yours? gimme a call when it happens :D

jesleen said...

lolll ever the funny funny mossy dahling!!!arent u?

mesjay said...

Sweet poem. I love Yeats too but hadn't come across this one. And Robert Frost's 'Stopping by woods' too. Have you read Frost's 'Birches?'Some of my students went crazy over it when i taught in B'lore.

Kym said...

No new writing yet?

feddabonn said...

i love the "full of sleep".

Mos-a said...

@mesjay - you haven't come across "stopping by woods"? im not impressed :D . it was Nehru's favourite pome too!

@Kym - patience patience! I'll try to have one by this weekend!

@fedabonn - isn't sleep the best human activity in this world? no worries! no troubles!

Mos-a said...

@ mesjay - on your rec. i read Birches and i love the descriptions Mr.Frost has used in his poems

azassk said...

i love Robert Frost poem too and this also inspire me a lot

ku2 said...

this is one of my very favorite poems... and i especially love that he loves her 'pilgrim soul'... with most people trying to tie down n shackle their lovers, this comes as a really beautiful thing - that he loves that part of her that yearns for the next horizon..mind if i follow you?