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Once more I have kissed your hand and it is right. The first sketch is straightforward statement, the first verse version puts the second line in place but gives us a fairly pedestrian, indeed slightly coy opening:.

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Again, sound enacts meaning:. From silence to silence: the eight-line poem has come full circle. In reading poetry, we focus, not on the what , but on the how.

After Long Silence

It helps to know that the poem was written for Olivia Shakespear, with whom Yeats had a brief his first love affair in the mid s. Throughout the s—indeed, throughout his life—Yeats was obsessed with the beautiful revolutionary, Maud Gonne, whom, for a variety of reasons, he could not have. Olivia, seeing how unhappy and frustrated the then thirty-year old poet was, pursued him.

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  • After Long Silence, by W. B. Yeats | Poeticous: poems, essays, and short stories.

Most important: no short lyric exists in itself, as a kind of anthology piece; such positioning is always deceptive. Then, too, the antitheses Yeats accepts as part of the human condition are clarified by a reading of his cosmology, A Vision.


There is enough material relevant to the poem, including the study of the early drafts cited above, to constitute a much longer essay or even a book. Space forbids such further speculations. Would a woman be willing to admit that her age makes the very notion of sexual love obsolete? It is the role, in any case, of a great poem to bring all these conflicting attitudes into play, to produce the complexity that Pound referred to when he said that poetry is news that stays news, that it is language charged with meaning to the utmost possible degree.

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Skip to content Search for:. The manuscripts, edited by David Clark for Cornell University Press, reveal that the germ of the poem was as follows: Subject Your hair is white My hair is white Come let us talk of love What other [theme?

Footnotes [1] The Collected Works of W. Yeats: Volume I, The Poems, ed.

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After Long Silence A Memoir by Helen Fremont read 5 Jul This book was published in and purports to tell the family reaction to learning of the author's research concerning the I kept waiting for the book to have some climatic ending or middle, but it didn't get there. It never explained why the authors parents and family members hid their Jewish identity; never confronted a After Long Silence.

Helen Fremont.

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Helen Fremont was raised Catholic only to discover in adulthood that her parents were Jews and Holocaust survivors.