Youmans (pronounced like 'yeoman' with an 's' added)
is the best-kept secret among contemporary American writers.
--John Wilson, editor, Books and Culture

Friday, November 04, 2005

Writing & the wish to be a wandering Aengus

A long time ago, I put my hand on Yeats’ tombstone. I was young; tears whipped by the wind off Ben Bulben stung my eyes, and the stone was chilly against my palm and fingers.

The marble stone over Yeats’ body reads like this:
Cast a cold eye
On life, on death:
Horseman, pass by!

I’m in the mood for those strong, bold urgings. It’s good to be a beggar queen; it’s good to know pride and high passion and freedom—to fasten one’s heart to the highest goals.

All quests have a cost; likewise, the foregoing of quests.

In the final struggle for breath, I don’t think that I’ll care much about Bookscan. I’d rather be an Aengus who has sought after and been faithful to the glimmering goal of the beautiful. I would rather be one who has climbed the world-tree, chasing after the silver apples of the moon, the golden apples of the sun.

2 comments:

  1. and how did I stumble upon your blog, I wonder? Sometimes I just plunge into the cyber world at random. Maybe it was a cast of the cards or a turn in a long road.
    But I am glad to have found it; have duly bookmarked it, so as not to have it run off somewhere, and shall go rummage around my dusty bookstore to see if maybe some of your volumes have been living here a while, murmuring to themselves.
    Yes, Yeats. And wildness. Yes.

    ReplyDelete
  2. However it was, I'm glad that you found me in the Infinite Library...

    ReplyDelete

Alas, I must once again remind large numbers of Chinese salesmen and other worldwide peddlers that if they fall into the Gulf of Spam, they will be eaten by roaming Balrogs. The rest of you, lovers of grace, poetry, and horses (nod to Yeats--you do not have to be fond of horses), feel free to leave fascinating missives and curious arguments.