When You Are Old by Yeats
Wednesday 16 October 2013, 5 p.m. section
- Recitation of Yeats, "When You Are Old" (1892)
- Driving to Vegas playing the poem on YouTube
- Way back to Santa Barbara listening to Frank Ocean
- Found similarities in the two very different artistic avenues
- Play Frank Ocean, "Bad Religion"
- Lyrics of first stanza and chorus
- Wanted to compare the texts because although we might regard Yeats as an awesome poet for his time, or this poem as somewhat interesting, we forget the applications it has today. The concept of love has been talked about since society was functioning and the repetition of a love lost is one that sparks something in humans across time periods.
- Why? What are some comparisons seen in the two recitations?
- Idea of unrequited love
- Physical lowering of oneself, being beaten down by love physically and emotionally; a draining sensation.
Bending down beside the glowing bars
If it brings me to my knees, it's a bad religion
- The idea of loneliness —
A one man-cult or
Paced upon the mountains overhead…
- How do Yeats and Ocean both describe this feeling of unrequited love?
- Yeats: a
little sadly It's something constantly on your mind but never settled.
- Goes into hiding on top of mountains, flees like love
- Ocean: A bad religion. Something you are devoted to without reward, without reason but perhaps a thoughtless duty. Repetition in loving someone, having someone on your mind constantly… it is easy to make someone into a god of their own being.
- For Yeats and Ocean I believe they would both attest to desire turning into perhaps love or rather an obsession. Is this what love is? A
one-man cult/ cyanide in my Styrofoam cup or maybe it's being able to deal with a side of the person you wouldn't normally appreciate,
The pilgrim soul/… the sorrows of your changing face.
- What is it about unrequited love that is so much more potently deadly than love simply lost due to circumstances, timing, etc?