Maud Gonne’s reply

When I am old and grey, how will I sleep?
I won’t nod by the fire, I will stride forth
In the sleet and the rain, looking north,
Looking south, looking west, looking east –

For those who love me know I am wild,
I will not be trammeled by love,
I will be free as the skylark singing above,
My old frame will hold the heart of a child

So why should I sleep when the grave calls me to it?
There is time enough for sleeping then;
And this love of yours, that drips from your pen
Was always a cage, and I always flew from it.


Of course we all know that Yeats was a great love poet, and “When you are old” is probably one of his best known poems. If you don’t know it, what are you doing reading my stuff? Go and read some Yeats and come back later. Jilly¬† is hosting at the dVerse bar, and asks us to write a poem in answer to another poem. I’ve just bought a book called The Emergency Poet, by Deborah Alma, and low and behold, there was William Butler, in all his glory. I always felt a bit sorry for Maud Gonne. She couldn’t help it…this is her reply. Special apologies to Jane Dougherty…