Friday, December 18, 2015

My Strange Relationship With Yeat's The Song of Wandering Aengus

I have the world's lousiest memory. I cannot remember names to save my life and as I age my faulty memory has degraded to such a point that I actually spoke to my doctor about my concerns.

"You do not have dementia," he said.

"And how do you know that?" I asked. His blatant statement after I recited my symptoms left me offended that he could make a prognosis without further discussion.

"Because people with dementia don't know they have dementia. When a patient tells me they suffer from it, I know they don't have it. If they did, they would be oblivious to the matter."

He then prattled on about brain fog and stress and how I needed a dramatic change in my life to lessen the stress.

Right. Sure thing.

So I still have memory problems, but my brain continues to amaze me. Not too long ago, I was reading William Butler Yeat's, The Song of Wandering Aengus.

The closing lines delighted me:
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.
Enchanted by the sheer power of Yeat's words, I read them again and suddenly something clicked.

Though I can barely remember the day's chores or a simple three item shopping list, those eight lines have become a permanent part of my memory. I can quote them accurately at any time.

I have no idea how I have done that. Ask me the next time you see me.

And now that my short story, Strange Streets, is completed, those same lines form an important part of the story's twist. Personally, I'm just delighted I could use such immortal prose in my own humble offering.

You can read the entire poem here. I believe you will enjoy it as much as I do.

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