But the Abbey Theatre has great meaning for me because it was founded by my favorite poet, W. B. Yeats. I've spent a lot of time this semester reading his work and learning about his life. I got to drive through "his" countryside in Co. Sligo and passed "his" mountain Ben Bulben. We even passed by the place where he is buried.
|Portrait of W. B. Yeats|
'O words are lightly spoken,'
Said Pearse to Connolly,
'Maybe a breath of politic words
Has withered our Rose Tree;
Or maybe but a wind that blows
Across the bitter sea.'
'It needs to be but watered,'
James Connolly replied,
'To make the green come out again
And spread on every side,
And shake the blossom from the bud
To be the garden's pride.'
'But where can we draw water,'
Said Pearse to Connolly,
'When all the wells are parched away?
O plain as plain can be
There's nothing but our own red bloodCan make a right Rose Tree.'
I could go on and on, but I'll get back to the Abbey Theatre. Yeats and a few of his friends founded it in 1904. As a result, it wasn't nearly as old as some of other theaters I've been in this semester. (That would be Smock Alley Theatre est. 1662. The difference with the Abbey Theatre, however, is that it was, and still is, devoted to investing in and promoting new Irish writers and artists.
|The first scene|
Turning back to W. B. Yeats, I'll leave you with one of my favorite "wild" poems that he wrote: "The Stolen Child."
Where dips the rocky highland Of Sleuth Wood in the lake, There lies a leafy island Where flapping herons wake The drowsy water rats; There we’ve hid our faery vats, Full of berrys And of reddest stolen cherries. Come away, O human child! To the waters and the wild With a faery, hand in hand, For the world’s more full of weeping than you can understand. Where the wave of moonlight glosses The dim gray sands with light, Far off by furthest Rosses We foot it all the night, Weaving olden dances Mingling hands and mingling glances Till the moon has taken flight; To and fro we leap And chase the frothy bubbles, While the world is full of troubles And anxious in its sleep. Come away, O human child! To the waters and the wild With a faery, hand in hand, For the world’s more full of weeping than you can understand. Where the wandering water gushes From the hills above Glen-Car, In pools among the rushes That scarce could bathe a star, We seek for slumbering trout And whispering in their ears Give them unquiet dreams; Leaning softly out From ferns that drop their tears Over the young streams. Come away, O human child! To the waters and the wild With a faery, hand in hand, For the world’s more full of weeping than you can understand. Away with us he’s going, The solemn-eyed: He’ll hear no more the lowing Of the calves on the warm hillside Or the kettle on the hob Sing peace into his breast, Or see the brown mice bob Round and round the oatmeal chest. For he comes, the human child, To the waters and the wild With a faery, hand in hand, For the world’s more full of weeping than he can understand.