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Plus: I love the word 'thraneen'

kellyrfineman has been posting some lively poetry discussions on her blog lately.

She made me want to write a narrative poem.

So I’ve been working on one.

Unfortunately, it sucks.

In the meantime, please enjoy one of my favorite poems by William Butler Yeats. (I’m not sure if it qualifies as narrative or not.)


I found that ivory image there
Dancing with her chosen youth,
But when he wound her coal-black hair
As though to strangle her, no scream
Or bodily movement did I dare,
Eyes under eyelids did so gleam;
Love is like the lion's tooth.

When She, and though some said she played
I said that she had danced heart's truth,
Drew a knife to strike him dead,
I could but leave him to his fate;
For no matter what is said
They had all that had their hate;
Love is like the lion's tooth.

Did he die or did she die?
Seemed to die or died they both?
God be with the times when I
Cared not a thraneen for what chanced
So that I had the limbs to try
Such a dance as there was danced -
Love is like the lion's tooth.


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Apr. 14th, 2006 09:05 am (UTC)
I like your poem!
Apr. 14th, 2006 02:00 pm (UTC)
Oh, um ... thank you ... but it's by W.B. Yeats. (I bolded that fact, so as not to claim authorship!) Mine is still too blobular and clueless to be posted.
Apr. 14th, 2006 11:30 am (UTC)
Wooh! That's intense!!
Apr. 14th, 2006 02:01 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I love the Crazy Jane series of poems.
Apr. 14th, 2006 01:36 pm (UTC)
I am a total poetry dunce and can't tell a good poem from a bad one to save my life (well, okay, I guess I can tell when a poem really sucks, especially when it's supposed to rhyme, but anyway, that is neither here nor there), but I thought it was cool. It makes me think of tango music for some reason.
Apr. 14th, 2006 02:02 pm (UTC)
Oh, Fabulosity ... I think that's exactly what W.B. must have intended!
Apr. 14th, 2006 03:49 pm (UTC)
Fantastic. I love Yeats. I had to hunt around to find a definition for thraneen, which I interpreted as "I don't give a fig/rat's ass", and it turns out I was close:
thrawneen, thraneen, traneen
// n. a straw, a rush; something of little or no value; thrawneens n.pl. long stems of dog's tail grass; a hard stem of a rush used to free the tube of a smoker's pipe; fig. long spindly legs < Ir. tráithnín. 'I don't give a traneen for your opinion', 'Them cows haven't had a thrawneeen of hay for the last two days'; Canon Sheehan, Glenanaar, 181: "'I don't care a thraneen for all that the gossips can say agian her'".

Thanks for the new word, and for the belly laugh I got when I took the cut and saw your first line. Keep working on yours -- and do try to use thraneen in there somewhere.
Apr. 14th, 2006 04:38 pm (UTC)
That's the strangest rhyming scheme. I wonder what it is.

The poem was fascinating, kind of twisted, and at first I made the same mistake as Meg and thought you had written it. I thought, whoa. Love is like the lion's tooth, huh? Then I saw the poem is Yeats'.
Hee hee.
Apr. 14th, 2006 05:12 pm (UTC)
Thanks for sharing . . .

Apr. 14th, 2006 08:44 pm (UTC)
So I’ve been working on one.


Unfortunately, it sucks.

Hahaha! You tease!!!!!! Although that saves me from suggesting that you try a different title. ;) Heeheehee.

Yeats kicks ass.
Apr. 14th, 2006 08:46 pm (UTC)
I just realized . . . there is way too much cackling in the above comment.
Apr. 15th, 2006 02:43 pm (UTC)
I welcome all cackling and heckling ... guffawing and heehawing ... snickering and sniggering ... chortles and giggles ...

... but I draw the line at jeers and sneers.
Aug. 1st, 2010 01:53 pm (UTC)
I love the word thraween ! I know that "once upon a time..a long time ago.." ( No, this isn't a fairytale!!) ...A thraneen is a single blade of long grass, with seeds on the end. This was plucked and used to impale wild strawberries. It looked like a string of red gems! Great for holding the berries to carry home..if you didn't have anything to carry them in. The seeds on the end, kept the berries from sliding off!! This info is from my Irish grandfather.
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