Justuna’s Blog

New Blogger from “Land of Hearts Desire” – Sligo

Posted on: April 14, 2010

I have a lot to write about but I decided to start my blogging career with W.B Yeats who spent his early years in my home county,  Sligo. He wrote this truly beautiful poem about unrequited love.  He was truly, madly and deeply in love with Maud Gonne. She was a poet, feminist, actress and revolutionary. He proposed three times but she refused him. This experience had a significant and lasting effect on his life and his poetry.

“….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.”

‘He Wishes for the Cloths of Heaven’ is a poem where the poet states that if he had all the riches in the world, he would give them to his love to show how much he loves her.  As the poet is not rich he gives her his dreams instead. It finishes with the warning that his love should be careful lest she crush his dreams. ‘Cloths of Heaven’ is a declaration of love using rich imagery. The central image in ‘Cloths of Heaven’ is the metaphor of the sky being a cloth. Yeats paints beautiful images of the skies ‘Enwrought with golden and silver light’. The cloth is golden during the day and silver with the light of the moon. The image of spreading the cloths under her feet, like a cloak, is a romantic and chivalrous one. Yeats wants to offer Gonne the heavens in an extravagant declaration of love.

The tone in the beginning of ‘Cloths of Heaven’ is one of exuberance, it describes a joyful, effervescent declaration of love ‘I would spread the cloths under your feet’. The tone changes in ‘Cloths’ to fearful as Yeats considers that his love is to be rejected. It captures the cruelty and pain which can arise from falling in love ‘I have spread my dreams under your feet;/Tread softly because you tread on my dreams’.W.B Yeats is a poet of for whom love caused great sadness and suffering. In ‘Cloths’ Yeats is warning Gonne to be careful with his heart and dreams for he feels fragile and vulnerable in his declaration of love.

I cannot help but wonder… how many suitors would pen such a beautiful poem to woo the woman of their dreams in this day and age? Is romance dead and gone?


3 Responses to "New Blogger from “Land of Hearts Desire” – Sligo"

Welcome to the world of blogging. Delighted to see you up and running.

You’re really bringing me back with that Yeats poem 🙂

Welcome to the blogosphere Una..and what a beautiful poem to start off your first blog post with 🙂 Looking forward to following your blog in the future. Marie

Thank you Lily and Marie, I just added my first picture to my second blog. I am getting there slowly but surely.

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  • Lily: Una, I’m adding a comment to all BBC members blogs to say that our June book is ‘The Children’s Book’ by A.S. Byatt to post on the first Sunda
  • justuna: You are right, in a sense it was such an arduous journey which offered rich experience for the child and the family. He and his parents were pushed to
  • justuna: Thank you, I loved your post on food for book clubs and I did the roasted nuts when I hosted the club - they were a big hit as you promised. I loved


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