Left Over Love Poems 1: Mathew MacFadyen

The Table Set
The Table Set for Valentine’s Dinner

I know. I know. Valentine’s Day is over, but tonight Brian and I were finally able to enjoy our dinner together, so that means ’tis still the season! And though the series Love Poems You Wish You Had Written is over for this year, I still have a few more pieces I want to share. So why not cram them in here at the end of the Valentine’s weekend?

My son the Monkey makes a fair point that it remains a meaningless holiday, but hey if Nietzsche taught me nothing else it was that I am free to make my own meaning out of whatever happens.

So despite the little known details of the real story of St. Valentine, and the eventual consumerist orgy that has come to be known as Valentine’s Day, here on the Dad Poet we chose to make this time meaningful by celebrating that rare occurrence, the awesome love poem, not to be confused with the sappy, twee, maudlin, greeting card variety. And while I confess that I get annoyed by blogs who post multiple times a day, or hour (because most of that is of inferior quality, pumped out in order to get more hits and recognition, while simply accomplishing the job of clogging up my WP reader with junk mail), I am never the less going to try to finish these posts up in the next few hours.

So let’s be brief about it. These next two clips were originally posted some time during my April National Poetry Month Project, so I’ll include them here for your enjoyment without further commentary. These are both poetry recitations by Mathew MacFadyen, whom we heard from in the recent post about William Carlos Williams. The first of these love poems was written by William Butler Yeats and the second by William, the great bard himself, Shakespeare. MacFadyen brings the verses to life brilliantly. Enjoy.

When You Are Old
by William Butler Yeats, 1865

WHEN you are old and gray and full of sleep	 
  And nodding by the fire, take down this book,	 
  And slowly read, and dream of the soft look	 
Your eyes had once, and of their shadows deep;
How many loved your moments of glad grace,
  And loved your beauty with love false or true;	 
  But one man loved the pilgrim soul in you,	 
And loved the sorrows of your changing face.

And bending down beside the glowing bars,
  Murmur, a little sadly, how love fled 10
  And paced upon the mountains overhead,
And hid his face amid a crowd of stars.
Sonnet 29

When, in disgrace with fortune and men's eyes,
I all alone beweep my outcast state 
And trouble deaf heaven with my bootless cries
And look upon myself and curse my fate, 
Wishing me like to one more rich in hope, 
Featured like him, like him with friends possess'd,
Desiring this man's art and that man's scope, 
With what I most enjoy contented least; 
Yet in these thoughts myself almost despising,
Haply I think on thee, and then my state, 
Like to the lark at break of day arising 
From sullen earth, sings hymns at heaven's gate;
     For thy sweet love remember'd such wealth brings
     That then I scorn to change my state with kings.

6 Comments Add yours

  1. slpmartin says:

    Ah…my favorite still is the e.e. cummings verse.:-)


    1. Yes, that man was so good at love poems. Just the right touch.


  2. John says:

    You’ll use any excuse to post a Matthew Macfadyen video, won’t you? 🙂
    P.S. I’m glad that you do. I do love my Julian… but Mr MacF…. well, he might be able to tempt me away… 🙂


    1. Yes, I will! haha


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