Monday 21 March 2022

Yeats reading Yeats


The poem tells the story of a man falling asleep while working beside a lake. The idea of the newly wed bride being taken away is a common theme in Irish folklore. Yeats’ Host of the Air is based on an old Gaelic ballad he heard sung and translated in Ballisodare, Co Sligo. The host of the Air refer to the bread and wine which within the liturgy of the Catholic Church is associated with Christ, the host of the meal.

The poem was published in 1899 in The Wind among the Reeds. I'm not mad about a lot of Yeats' early poems and prefer the later stuff like The Second Coming but there's something magical about this one. I heard it first at a Feis when I was in my early teens. I fell in love instantly. With what I'm not sure but it took me to some hitherto unknown part of myself. 

For an in- depth discussion of Yeats’ supernatural follow the link:

landscape and the Supernatural in Yeats

For an animation of the man himself Yeats reading the poem:

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