Impetus Kept Quiet in a Yeats’s #poem


Dance there upon the shore;
What need have you to care
For wind or water’s roar ?
And tumble out your hair
That the salt drops have wet;
Being young you have not known
The fool’s triumph, nor yet
Love lost as soon as won,
Nor the best labourer dead
And all the sheaves to bind.
What need have you to dread
The monstrous crying of wind ?

W. B. Yeats

Isn’t it a good poem about how innocence and freedom of youth ignore disillusions and dark realities of adulthood?

But I like this poem because it says something about the narrator, who has the desire to warn, but knows it’s useless.

Nevertheless, the impetus is there!

It’s quite obvious that this “poem” is said in silence, in the narrator’s head : “Dance, What need have you to care, Being young you have not known…”. All this impetus is kept quiet, closed up into the narrator’s mind. Let her dance…

Why? To let her dance? Because the narrator feels he’s too pessimistic? Because he’s afraid of her reaction? Because he hopes he’s wrong (her life will maybe be a happy rainbow)?

It could be a dial to watch in us : When do we feel this impetus? When you want to warn somebody but you know it’s useless? Why? Do you fear you will not be heard? Is it a mistake, not to tell? Are you afraid that one day the other person would say to you : “You knew, you didn’t tell me, why?”?


Thanks for reading!





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