Wednesday, February 01, 2006

The Song of Wandering Angus

I've been asked why I named my blog "Silver Apples". It is from one of my all-time favorite poems (see below) which I first read it when I was about 11 years old. It'd been printed in "Cricket" magazine with a pen and ink illustration by Trina Schart Hyman (who is my all-time favorite illustrator and the single largest artistic inspiration from my childhood). The combination made a potent impact on my young sensibilities. If I can ever get beyond Trina's depiction which is burned into my memory, I'd love to do a version myself - it's full of amazing imagery.

The Song of the Wandering Angus
by William Butler Yeats

I went out to the hazel wood,
Because a fire was in my head,
And cut and peeled a hazel wand,
And hooked a berry to a thread;
And when white moths were on the wing,
And moth-like stars were flickering out,
I dropped the berry in a stream
And caught a little silver trout.

When I had laid it on the floor
I turned to blow the fire aflame,
But something rustled on the floor,
And some one called me by my name:
It had become a glimmering girl
With apple blossom in her hair
Who called me by my name and ran
And faded through the brightening air.

Though I am old with wandering
Through hollow lands and hilly lands,
I will find out where she has gone,
And kiss her lips and take her hands;
And walk among long dappled grass,
And pluck till time and times are done
The silver apples of the moon,
The golden apples of the sun.


anj said...

That is a fantastically inspired poem. One of the first things I liked about your blog was the name. It sounds delicious and whimsical with a dash of poetry... now I know why!

PG said...

Oh my God, I'd heard the phrase before, but never the I'm sitting here with damp eyes...

Anonymous said...

hey: the other day someone recited that poem to me and i swear to god i could see that old cricket illustration. perfect pairing of poet and artist. took me right back to ugly bird days...