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Sailing to Byzantium

  • Type: Poem

No Country for Old Men

Sailing to Byzantium is a poem by Irish poet, William Butler Yeats. Sailing to Byzantium was first published in the 14 February 1928 anthology, The Tower. - AsNotedIn

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Y/M/D Association Description Place Locale Food Event
1928/02/14 William Butler Yeats Poet "The Tower" poetry collection Nobel Laureate by W B Yeats is published with a cover design by Thomas Sturge Moore.

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Particulars for Sailing to Byzantium:
Art Type Poem writing that partakes of the nature of both speech and song that is typically rhythmical, usually metaphorical, and often exhibits such formal elements as meter, rhyme and stanzaic structure.

Sailing to Byzantium


That is no country for old men. The young In one another's arms, birds in the trees - -Those dying generations- -at their song, The salmon-falls, the mackerel-crowded seas, Fish, flesh, or fowl, commend all summer long Whatever is begotten, born, and dies. Caught in that sensual music all neglect Monuments of unageing intellect.

An aged man is but a paltry thing, A tattered coat upon a stick, unless Soul clap its hands and sing, and louder sing For every tatter in its mortal dress, Nor is there singing school but studying Monuments of its own magnificence; And therefore I have sailed the seas and come To the holy city of Byzantium.

O sages standing in God's holy fire As in the gold mosaic of a wall, Come from the holy fire, perne in a gyre, And be the singing-masters of my soul. Consume my heart away; sick with desire And fastened to a dying animal It knows not what it is; and gather me Into the artifice of eternity.

Once out of nature I shall never take My bodily form from any natural thing, But such a form as Grecian goldsmiths make Of hammered gold and gold enameling To keep a drowsy Emperor awake; Or set upon a golden bough to sing To lords and ladies of Byzantium Of what is past, or passing, or to come.


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