The Fisherman by William Butler Yeats

When this dude thought of a better world is was full of people like us.

Background: Yeats was an Irish poet who was born in 1865 and died in 1939.  He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature.  The Fisherman by Yeats is about Yeats’ disdain for the public masses and for their disrespect of art.   He uses this poem to create an image of the perfect man who would be his perfect audience.  He is also longing for a more perfect Ireland and more perfect world. 

ALTHOUGH I can see him still.The freckled man who goesTo a grey place on a hillIn grey Connemara clothesAt dawn to cast his flies,It’s long since I beganTo call up to the eyesThis wise and simple man.All day I’d looked in the faceWhat I had hoped ‘twould beTo write for my own raceAnd the reality;The living men that I hate,The dead man that I loved,The craven man in his seat,The insolent unreproved,And no knave brought to bookWho has won a drunken cheer,The witty man and his jokeAimed at the commonest ear,The clever man who criesThe catch-cries of the clown,The beating down of the wiseAnd great Art beaten down.Maybe a twelvemonth sinceSuddenly I began,In scorn of this audience,Imagining a man,And his sun-freckled face,And grey Connemara cloth,Climbing up to a placeWhere stone is dark under froth,And the down-turn of his wristWhen the flies drop in the stream;A man who does not exist,A man who is but a dream;And cried, ‘Before I am oldI shall have written him onepoem maybe as coldAnd passionate as the dawn.’

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