After reading Paulo Coelho’s Brida, I felt drawn to return to W.B. Yeats’ poetry collection The Wind Among the Reeds (1899), after a break of more than 30 years.
Certainly the Tradition of the Sun and the Moon in the mystical cults make more sense to me than when I was younger. The call to the elements of the wood sing stronger now as well. Bur most of all, Brida’s incarnation on the dust jacket of Coelho’s novel rang a strong bell in my soul as I began remembering the many references to flowing hair and glimmering flames throughout The Wind Among the Reeds. Back in the late 1970’s, that seems to be all that I was then capable of taking away from my encounter with Yeats.
These days, my encounter is so very much so memorable. The following poem means more to me than it ever could decades ago (which is the beauty of rereading throughout the years).
Into The Twilight
OUT−WORN heart, in a time out−worn,
Come clear of the nets of wrong and right;
Laugh, heart, again in the grey twilight,
Sigh, heart, again in the dew of the morn.
Your mother Eire is aways young,
Dew ever shining and twilight grey;
Though hope fall from you and love decay,
Burning in fires of a slanderous tongue
Come, heart, where hill is heaped upon hill:
For there the mystical brotherhood
Of sun and moon and hollow and wood
And river and stream work out their will;
And God stands winding His lonely horn,
And time and the world are ever in flight;
And love is less kind than the grey twilight,
And hope is less dear than the dew of the morn.
And, of course, there are many more memorable lines cross referenced throughout the years as my reading continues to grow – such as:
I went to blow the fire aflame,
But something rustled on the floor,
And some one called me by my name:
It had become a glimmering girl
With apple blossom in her hair
Who called me by my name and ran
And faded through the brightening air.
Though I am old with wandering
Through hollow lads and hilly lands.
I will find out where she has gone,
And kiss her lips and take her hands;
And walk among long dappled grass,
And pluck till time and times are done
The silver apples of the moon,
The golden apples of the sun. (from “The Song Of Wandering Aengus”)
and the tenderly evoking imploration
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. (from “He Wishes For The Cloths Of Heaven”)
I am pleasantly surprised with my return visit to The Wind Among the Reeds. I might have forgotten to revisit if it was not for Brida and her dust-jacket.
(You can download a copy of The Wind Among the Reeds for free from Project Gutenberg http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/32233 )