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Monday, March 10, 2014

A Drinking Song - William Butler Yeats

Wine comes in at the mouth
And love comes in at the eye;
That's all we shall know for truth
Before we grow old and die.
I lift the glass to my mouth,
I look at you, and I sigh.


What's to say?  As simple as it gets, really, Yeats creates a somewhat funny and somewhat poignant image here, of a lover looking at his or her other, taking a sip of wine, holding the object of their love in the eye, and sighing, presumably for want of love.

All I can really take from this is a sense of rueful regret at falling in love.  Raise a glass, sigh while falling in love, and hope you can realize it before you're old and dead.  Alternatively, I suppose it could be a sigh along the lines of "oh, you're the one I fell in love with" but I don't get that feeling.  Still, despite the sigh, I find a warm sense of humor in this poem.  After all, sighs can be of relief, happiness, anything.  It could be someone taking comfort in catching their lover's eye.

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