Recent favourite poem

Though you are in your shining days,
Voices among the crowd
And new friends busy with your praise,
Be not unkind or proud,
But think about old friends the most:
Time’s bitter flood will rise,
Your beauty perish and be lost
For all eyes but these eyes.

Hi there.

The above poem is called ‘The Lover Pleads with His Friend for Old Friends’ by W. B. Yeats. It really is an act of genius, the title adds so much to the poem and I really love the last three lines. It’s also really cool the rythmn of it however i’m not sure I fully understand how meter works. As far as I understand it this would be iambic tetrameter followed by iambic trimeter with a rhyme scheme of ABABCDCD, is this correct? It can be very confusing.

 

Thanks! 🙂

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2 thoughts on “Recent favourite poem

  1. I agree! It’s fascinating to scan. Yes, on the rhyme scheme. ABABCDCD.
    And I agree on the meters, tetrameter and trimeter, every other line. I spent some time studying meter for a workshop last year, so let me give this a shot. Feel free to completely disagree with me, because I may be very wrong.

    But the trimeter lines seem to be exactly iambic except for the second and the last lines. I hear two trochees in line two, and a spondee at the end of the final line. Interesting . . . it feels like he wants to slow us down to think about the voices among the crowd, and then bring us to a full stop at the final line with the double accent on THESE EYES.

    The tetrameter lines vary in all but the first line, at least the way I read it. I wonder if the varying rhythm is meant to mimic the stumbling speech of the neglected lover? How do you read it?

    And by the way, in the past, and today, I have often gone back to this link for help: http://www.bardweb.net/content/readings/intro.html

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi David, sorry it took me so long to reply. It is very interesting scanning poetry and can be equally frustrating haha 🙂 I read it much the same (I think) in terms of stress of syllables.

    However I am confused though by what we would call a multi disyllable line of poetry. As in a single line of poetry with iambs, trochees and spondees and the other one i can’t remember. Does that even exist or is this just free verse or something else?

    Thanks for the awesome reply and resource. 🙂

    Like

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