Sailing to Byzantium

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.


About mjbutterworth

Coffee. Books. Bicycles.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Sailing to Byzantium

  1. Matt says:

    Nobody reads Yeats just for fun!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s