BL. W. B. Yeats


33. Crazy Jane Poems. In The Winding Stair and Other Poems, enlarged edition (30). London: Macmillan, 1933.

Hirschberg (181) is probably right in finding that particular images in the seven poems of the Crazy Jane sequence are indebted to the nô in general and to the imagery of Pound’s version of Nishikigi (BK8) in particular, though it would be difficult to substantiate the suggestion that in these poems about Crazy Jane and her relationship with Jack the Journeyman Yeats ‘clearly adapted the format of the nôh’. The ‘blasted oak’ to which ‘at midnight upon the stroke’ Jane is called by Jack’s ghost in Crazy Jane and the Bishop is indeed reminiscent of the ‘holy place or much-legended tomb’ Yeats had earlier noted provides the setting in the mugen nô (11), and the ‘skein upon the ground’ that unites Jane with her ‘lonely ghost’ in Crazy Jane and Jack the Journeyman likewise recalls the skein of woven grass in Nishikigi, but though Hirschberg’s suggestions are provocative, and point to an incorporation of material from the nô in Yeats’s poems as well as his plays (see also 29, 32a, and 36c), the primary sources of this series are unrelated to Japanese materials. Six of the seven poems had appeared earlier in 32, and several had appeared first in New Republic, 12 November 1930, and London Mercury 23 (1930), but the seven appear together for the first time here. See also Eide (148) for a suggestion of the ‘shadow’ of Ono no Komachi (Ap, see BK17c-d) in the series.





Home | Top | Previous | Next

Previous | Next


Creative Commons License