Somehow, it’s fitting that I was reading this poem several weeks ago as I flew from Dublin to Istanbul.
There is no country for old men. The young In one another’s arms, birds in the trees – Those dying generations – at their song. The salmon-falls, the mackerel-crowded seas, Fish, flesh, or fowl, commend all summer long Whatever is begotten, born and dies. Caught in that sensual music all neglect Monuments of unageing intellect.
An aged man is but a paltry thing, A tattered coat upon a stick, unless Soul clap its hands and sing, and louder sing For every tatter in its mortal dress, Nor is there singing school but studying Monuments of its own magnificence; And therefore I have sailed the seas and come To the holy city of Byzantium.
Taken from Sailing to Byzantium by W.B. Yeats.