Originally Posted by maja
I looked the poem up and had a quick read and after a few repeats it started in parts to be also relevant to me. (being a pit past it) Then I went to the pub and on my return read it once more and lo, it all made perfect sense, bloody Irish writing style, cost me £3.20 for each of 7 pints to understand it. Ride safe.
It seems to be one of Yeats's lesser-known poems. I came across it on my first visit to Istanbul (by plane) in 2008, and it struck a chord with me as my father was at that point very old, frail, and had lost his independence. In particular the plea of verse 3:
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.
It was a wonderful experience to ride all the way to 'Byzantium', and beyond, from the UK. If only there was time in life always to travel overland - to me it feels rather fake to fly and drop suddenly in on some distant city...