Reading "Who goes with Fergus?"

Toward the end of April (National Poetry Month) I decided to try reading a poem aloud myself as a post. This gave a chance to see how a new video editor program, external microphone, tripod, and DSLR camera all work together. Normally I just use a smartphone or camcorder. Turns out a tight close-up is very tough to do slowly by hand. Hope this amuses.

I previously posted about William Butler Yeats' "Who goes with Fergus?", and nowadays I don't think it rates in my top 10 of Yeats poems. But I had a visual of tying this poem to a slow zoom-in. Sometimes you got to get the vision out rather than step back and worry about whether it's representative of a personal state of mind.

I thought of imitating Yeats' voice with a deeper, quavering, shamanistic chant and Irish inflection. Confidence is solid that I could bring it off, but thought saving that for later would be best.

"Who goes with Fergus?"

Who will go drive with Fergus now,
And pierce the deep wood's woven shade
And dance upon the level shore?
Young man, lift up your russet brow,
And lift your tender eyelids, maid,
And brood on hopes and fears no more.

And no more turn aside and brood
Upon love's bitter mystery;
For Fergus rules the brazen cars,
And rules the shadows of the wood,
And the white breast of the dim sea
And all dishevelled, wandering stars.

Earlier I lamented about having no poems memorized, then recalled a few days later I had this one memorized about 20 years ago and am pleased it's still rattling around in there. And "Jabberwocky" by Lewis Carroll will NEVER be shaken. A head injury may knock "Dover Beach" by Matthew Arnold or "God's Grandeur" by Gerard Manley Hopkins loose.

"Leda and the Swan" by Yeats was part of a high school English class. Other than that, I didn't encounter Yeats until studying, then re-reading, and re-re-reading, then re-studying and re-re-re-reading Ulysses by James Joyce. The younger lead character, Stephen Dedalus, has memories of singing the poem to his dying mother and fragments work their way into his day.

Poetry fragments sometimes pop in while out and about. Often context-free - more an echo of a word or phrase or the rhythm of something nearby. "And no more turn aside and brood" is the one that most often gives its (to my conscious mind) advice flicking its tongue into the corners of the day.