Friday poem: 'He Wishes for the Cloths of Heaven'

17 March 2016

by W. B. Yeats

Had I the heavens’ embroidered cloths,
Enwrought with golden and silver light,
The blue and the dim and the dark cloths
Of night and light and the half-light,
I would spread the cloths under your feet:
But I, being poor, have only my dreams;
I have spread my dreams under your feet;
Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.

 

From The Picador Book of Love Poems

W. B. Yeats is widely regarded as one of Ireland's greatest poets. His long and influential career as a poet, playwright and cultural leader spanned a time of enormous political change in his native land.

As a cultural nationalist and one of the key figures behind the Irish Literary Renaissance, Yeats believed his writing could help to maintain a sense of the national spirit. In 1923 he was awarded The Nobel Prize in Literature ‘for his always inspired poetry, which in a highly artistic form gives expression to the spirit of a whole nation’.

Read W. B. Yeat's 'The Lake Isle of Innisfree'

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