Today is the birthday of William Butler Yeats! Here's my ode to the great Irish poet and dramatist:
"To a Child Dancing in the Wind"
Dance there upon the shore;
What need have you to care
For wind or water's roar?
And tumble out your hair
That the salt drops have wet;
Being young you have not known
The fool's triumph, nor yet
Love lost as soon as won,
Nor the best labourer dead
And all the sheaves to bind.
What need have you to dread
The monstrous crying of wind?
"To Ireland in the Coming Times"
Now, that I would accounted be
True brother of a company
That sang, to sweeten Ireland's wrong,
Ballad and story, rann and song;
Nor be I any less of them,
Because the red-rose-bordered hem
Of her, whose history began
Before God made the angelic clan,
Trails all about the written page.
When Time began to rant and rage
The measure of her flying feet
Made Ireland's heart begin to beat;
And Time bade all his candles flare
To light a measure here and there;
And may the thoughts of Ireland brood
Upon a measured quietude.
Nor may I less be counted one
With Davis, Mangan, Ferguson,
Because, to him who ponders well,
My rhymes more than their rhyming tell
Of things discovered in the deep,
Where only body's laid asleep.
For the elemental creatures go
About my table to and fro,
That hurry from unmeasured mind
To rant and rage in flood and wind;
Yet he who treads in measured ways
May surely barter gaze for gaze.
Man ever journeys on with them
After the red-rose-bordered hem.
Ah, faeries, dancing under the moon,
A Druid land, a Druid tune!
While still I may, I write for you
The love I lived, the dream I knew.
From our birthday, until we die,
Is but the winking of an eye;
And we, our singing and our love,
What measurer Time has lit above,
And all benighted things that go
About my table to and fro,
Are passing on to where may be,
In truth's consuming ecstasy,
No place for love and dream at all;
For God goes by with white footfall.
I cast my heart into my rhymes,
That you, in the dim coming times,
May know how my heart went with them
After the red-rose-bordered hem.
and, per recommendation of the statehouse reporter from West Virginia sitting behind me,
"The Secret Rose"
Far-off, most secret, and inviolate Rose,
Enfold me in my hour of hours; where those
Who sought thee in the Holy Sepulchre,
Or in the wine-vat, dwell beyond the stir
And tumult of defeated dreams; and deep
Among pale eyelids, heavy with the sleep
Men have named beauty. Thy great leaves enfold
The ancient beards, the helms of ruby and gold
Of the crowned Magi; and the king whose eyes
Saw the pierced Hands and Rood of elder rise
In Druid vapour and make the torches dim;
Till vain frenzy awoke and he died; and him
Who met Fand walking among flaming dew
By a grey shore where the wind never blew,
And lost the world and Emer for a kiss;
And him who drove the gods out of their liss,
And till a hundred morns had flowered red
Feasted, and wept the barrows of his dead;
And the proud dreaming king who flung the crown
And sorrow away, and calling bard and clown
Dwelt among wine-stained wanderers in deep woods:
And him who sold tillage, and house, and goods,
And sought through lands and islands numberless years,
Until he found, with laughter and with tears,
A woman of so shining loveliness
That men threshed corn at midnight by a tress,
A little stolen tress. I, too, await
The hour of thy great wind of love and hate.
When shall the stars be blown about the sky,
Like the sparks blown out of a smithy, and die?
Surely thine hour has come, thy great wind blows,
Far-off, most secret, and inviolate Rose?
Yeats is really great, but I wonder how many people read him beyond "The Second Coming." Do you know what isn't done enough today? Making kids memorize poems. They memorize lots of things; why not good poetry? Then perhaps they'd appreciate better literary quality when they're older. No one would read books like the Twilight series after devouring Tennyson.
Today is also the feast day of St. Anthony of Padua! He's a Doctor of the Church and was canonized only a year after his death. He died at age 36, only 10 years after joining the Franciscans, and was known as the Malleus hereticorum, or "Hammer of Heretics." He is a personal favorite and friend of mine, especially as I am constantly calling upon his intervention to find lost items. My parents say I have a personal connection to him because I usually find what I had been looking for within moments of asking for help, but that seems to be the typical response of anyone who asks for his help. I think the difference is between people who ask and people who don't.
For example-- Rach, you'll enjoy this-- it was dinnertime at Kappa two semesters ago and Cervini came in being dramatic about having lost something and getting into a tizzy and Sarah (Rachel's awesome little, for all the non-KKG readers) shouts from the kitchen to pray to St. Anthony (to a mainly Protestant audience, I should add). Well, dubious side-looks aside, Cervini found what she was looking for and for at least the next week, it was hilarious to hear Kappas going around saying things like, "You can't find ____? Go ask Sarah to pray about it!" :)
Laura and I are currently hanging out at the Corner Bakery until we leave for our flight out of Chicago. Our waiter pretended to have a heart attack while bringing over my panini. He's hilarious and is chatting up his entire section/ impromptu dancing. We certainly have met a lot of characters this trip. We've also spent time with friends and I had the blessed chance to be in Chicago the same weekend part of my family was in town for my aunt's graduation from her masters' program. I have had a splendid time, to say the least. It was wonderful to see and spend time with so many good, dear people. Columbus is fun, but it's currently missing a few crucial pieces to my life puzzle.
The conference was really great and informative and it gave me the reassurance that I'm going about my job in the right way. My current goal for the next year is establish a presence at the Statehouse, recruit lots of college journalists and make BI another venue to publish them (i.e. more clips! a win-win for both parties), create a syndication system with the small Ohio newspapers (eventually moving into the larger papers) and generally create the base of a small news bureau with a large reach. If I can get the news bureau to function without me (hypothetically speaking) in the next year or less, I will be a very happy reporter. I'll also bring more attention to Buckeye, which is also needed, so I am excited to get back to Columbus and start tapping into the potential more.
Something I discovered this weekend: Mercatus, George Mason's economic research center, which is too fantastic for words. First article on the page: "The Roaring Twenties and the Austrian Business Cycle" (which is a working paper that I am currently reading- tres bien!) My favorite is "The Death of Fiscal Federalism," a concept that I hold very dear to my limited government-loving heart. This is a really great organization and I am excited to read and delve deeper into what they do and pursue.
Also, here's a great lede in a recent article by George Will:
"WASHINGTON - Under the current imperfect administration of the Universe, most new ideas are false, so most ideas for improvements make matters worse. Given California’s parlous condition, making matters worse there requires ingenuity, but voters managed to do so last Tuesday."
I think Laura and I might leave our bags at the hotel and wander down to the Chicago Blues Festival for a bit. Our flight isn't till 5 and I adore live music. Betsy is coming to stay with me for the next 3 days since she'll be student teaching in Columbus for 3 days. So much happiness to see my dear friend. Happy Sunday, y'all!