BL. W. B. Yeats

32. Words for Music Perhaps and Other Poems. Dublin: Cuala, 1932.

    Both works are reprinted in the expanded edition of The Winding Stair.  

Both works noted are reprinted in the expanded edition of 30; see also 33.

a. Byzantium. Thwaite (97) was the first to note a source in Motomezuka, which Yeats knew in Stopes’s translation (see D23), in lines 25-32, where ‘blood begotten spirits come / And all complexities of fury leave, / Dying into dance, / . . . / An agony of flame that cannot singe a sleeve’. The point is further developed by Wilson (98) and Eide (148), the latter of whom also speculates about a connection between the closing ‘gong tormented sea’ and Péri’s translation of Aya no tsuzumi (Ap). Yeats’s keen interest in Motomezuka, and its central presentation of the young girl who ‘dreams back’ her torment in flames that arise from her own imagination, is traceable throughout his writing about the nô (see notes at D23). The poem is dated 1929 here and 1930 in the reprint in 30. Naitô (224) finds a Zen Buddhist influence in the poem.

b. Symbols. The poem of six lines does not mention Sato by name, but the reference to his sword (see especially 21 and 48k) is unmistakable: ‘All destroying sword-blade still / Carried by the wandering fool. // Gold-sewn silk on the sword-blade / Beauty and fool together laid’. Written in October 1927. See also 139.





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