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Douglas Lee Saum | Music for Words Perhaps

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Music for Words Perhaps

by Douglas Lee Saum

The great poetry of W B Yeats presented in various inspired styles: folk, Beatle-ish, Celt-ish, rock, country, doo wop, blues, evocative and original.
Genre: Folk: Celtic Folk
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  Song Share Time Download
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1. Broth in the Pot
0:58 $0.99
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2. Crazy Jane and the Bishop
3:13 $0.99
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3. Crazy Jane Reproved
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4. Crazy Jane On the Day of Judgment
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5. Crazy Jane and Jack the Journeyman
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6. Crazy Jane On God
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7. Crazy Jane Talks With the Bishop
2:13 $0.99
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8. Crazy Jane Grown Old Looks At the Dancers
3:44 $0.99
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9. Crazy Jane On the Mountain
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10. Girl's Song
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11. Young Man's Song
3:31 $0.99
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12. Her Anxiety
2:20 $0.99
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13. His Confidence
2:57 $0.99
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14. Love's Loneliness
2:12 $0.99
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15. Her Dream
2:07 $0.99
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16. His Bargain
2:40 $0.99
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17. Three Things
3:12 $0.99
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18. Lullaby
3:30 $0.99
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19. After Long Silence
3:11 $0.99
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20. Mad as the Mist and Snow
2:06 $0.99
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21. Those Dancing Days Are Gone
3:22 $0.99
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22. I Am of Ireland
3:21 $0.99
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23. The Dancer At Crauchan and Cro-Patrick
2:18 $0.99
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24. Tom the Lunatic
1:42 $0.99
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25. Tom At Crauchan
1:42 $0.99
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26. Old Tom Again
0:59 $0.99
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27. The Delphic Oracle Upon Plotinus
1:47 $0.99
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28. Who Goes With Fergus? (Reprise)
3:11 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.

ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
Our Friends Herein

Cracked Mary became Crazy Jane;
O’Roughley now Old Tom.
Both are sacred, both profane, and
In the end the same.

In travail and arrogance,
In love and love’s deceit,
All innocents grow old.

A tender heart,
The priest Jane thought a fool,
Merely notes on a great
Symphonic scale.

A cradling Goddess,
And dancing God,
As in a Grecian cave,
Cast shadows upon an Irish stage.

O friends false and true
Sing on, sing on!
Singing forever
These songs from a mountain tomb.

Douglas Lee Saum 2013

Music for Words Perhaps

1. Broth in the Pot (0:59)
2. Crazy Jane and the Bishop (3:14)
3. Crazy Jane Reproved (2:42)
4. Crazy Jane on the Day of Judgment (2:44)
5. Crazy Jane and Jack the Journeyman (3:55)
6. Crazy Jane on God (2:38)
7. Crazy Jane Talks with the Bishop (2:12)
8. Crazy Jane Grown Old looks at the Dancers (3:42)
9. Crazy Jane on the Mountain (2:30)
10. Girl’s Song (2:10)
11. Young Man’s Song (3:30)
12. Her Anxiety (2:19)
13. His Confidence (2:56)
14. Love’s Loneliness (2:11)
15. Her Dream (2:08)
16. His Bargain (2:38)
17. Three Things (3:10)
18. Lullaby (3:30)
19. After Long Silence (3:10)
20. Mad as the Mist and Snow (2:06)
21. Those Dancing Days are Gone (3:21)
22. ‘I am of Ireland’ (3:19)
23. The Dancer at Cruachan and Cro-Patrick (2:17)
24. Tom the Lunatic (1:44)
25. Tom at Cruachan (1:40)
26. Old Tom Again (0:59)
27. The Delphic Oracle upon Plotinus (1:45)
28. Who Goes with Fergus? (3:10)


This seventh collection in my W B Yeats series marks a literary and musical first. In 1931 W B Yeats finished and in the next year published his WORDS FOR MUSIC PERHAPS. Though some of the twenty-five poems of this volume have been set to music by musicians as well-known as Van Morrison and Mike Scott, this collection is the first to present these words in the entirety of the sequence as Yeats, perhaps, had hoped. Careful listeners and/or fans of W B Yeats may be reminded that these songs present a poetic experience that is designed to be balanced. Yeats's primary female character here is Crazy Jane who begins the CD with her hard won insights into life, love, afterlife, and Church. Tom the Lunatic ends the collection with his insights and joy. In between Yeats keeps the balance between genders and explores any number of his usual themes. May you find more than just a catchy tune here!

Music for Words Perhaps

Musicians: Guitars: Douglas Lee Saum (dls hereafter), Lenny Supera,
Bass: dls, Tobias D. Saum, Dobro: dls, Bill Mojo Collins, Keyboards/synth: dls,
Fiddle: Charlene Adzima Michaels, Bodhran: Dennis Bagley, Keith Shannon,
Percussion: Jim “Cap” Stapp, Dennis Steele, dls, Mandolin: dls, Kalimba: dls,
Flute, Sax, Clarinet: Dallas Smith.

Speakers: dls, Declan Foley, Joan McCready, Sam McCready, Choir of Love: Oona Lappin, Stella Mew, Declan Foley, John W. Purser, and Hilary Pyle.

Singers: Charlene Adzima Michaels, Joyce Vetter (Crazy Jane), dls, Mary Lee Dazey, Kim Elise, Haven Merritt, Lenny Supera, Tobias D. Saum, Judith Saum, Lenny “El Bajo” Pustilnick.

Engineering and Mastering: dls, Lane Cameron.
Recorded at Barbarous Generation Studio.
This collection is dedicated to H V and S H in acknowledgement of their sterling leadership.

The words of the poems by W B Yeats are set to music by permission of A P Watt at United Agents on behalf of the executors of the estate of Grainne Yeats.

Programme:

1. Broth in the Pot

There’s broth in the pot for you, old man,
There’s broth in the pot for you, old man,
There’s cabbage for me
And broth for you,
And beef for Jack the journeyman.

I wish you were dead, my gay old man,
I wish you were dead my gay old man,
I wish you were dead
And a stone at your head,
So as I’d marry poor Jack the journeyman.

2. Crazy Jane and the Bishop

Bring me to the blasted oak
That I, midnight upon the stroke,
(All find safety in the tomb.)
May call down curses on his head
Because of my dear Jack that’s dead.
Coxcomb was the least he said:
The solid man and the coxcomb.

Nor was he Bishop when his ban
Banished Jack the Journeyman,
(All find safety in the tomb.)
Nor so much as parish priest,
Yet he, an old book in his fist,
Cried that we lived like beast and beast:
The solid man and the coxcomb.

The Bishop has a skin, God knows,
Wrinkled like the foot of a goose,
(All find safety in the tomb.)
Nor can he hide in holy black
The heron’s hunch upon his back,
But a birch-tree stood my Jack:
The solid man and the coxcomb.

Jack had my virginity,
And bids me to the oak, for he
(All find safety in the tomb.)
Wanders out into the night
And there is shelter under it,
But should that other come, I spit:
The solid man and the coxcomb.

3. Crazy Jane Reproved

I care not what the sailors say:
All those dreadful thunder-stones,
All that storm that blots the day
Can but show that Heaven yawns;
Great Europa played the fool
That changed a lover for a bull.
Fol de rol, fol de rol.

To round that shell’s elaborate whorl,
Adorning every secret track
With the delicate mother-of-pearl,
Made the joints of Heaven crack:
So never hang your heart upon
A roaring, ranting journeyman.
Fol de rol, fol de rol.

4. Crazy Jane on the Day of Judgment

‘Love is all / Unsatisfied
That can not take the whole / Body and soul’;
And that is what Jane said.

‘Take the sour / If you take me,
I can scoff and lour / And scold for an hour.’
‘That’s certainly the case,’ said he.

‘Naked I lay / The grass is my bed;
Naked and hidden away, / That black day’;
And that is what Jane said.

‘What can be shown? / What true love be?
All could be known or shown / If Time were but gone.’
‘That’s certainly the case ,’ said he.

5. Crazy Jane and Jack the Journeyman

I know, although when looks meet
I tremble to the bone,
The more I leave the door unlatched
The sooner love is gone,
For love is but a skein unwound
Between the dark and dawn.

A lonely ghost the ghost is
That to God shall come;
I -- love’s skein upon the ground,
My body in the tomb --
Shall leap into the light lost
In my mother’s womb.

But were I left to lie alone
In an empty bed,
The skein so bound us ghost to ghost
When he turned his head
Passing on the road that night,
Mine would walk being dead.

6. Crazy Jane on God

That lover of a night / Came when he would,
Went in the dawning light / Whether I would or no;
Men come, men go: All things remain in God.

Banners choke the sky; / Men-at-arms tread;
Armoured horses neigh / Where the great battle was
In the narrow pass: All things remain in God .

Before their eyes a house / That from childhood stood
Uninhabited, ruinous, / Suddenly lit up
From door to top: All things remain in God.

I had wild Jack for a lover; / Though like a road
That men pass over / My body makes no moan
But sings on: All things remain in God.

7. Crazy Jane Talks with the Bishop

I met the bishop on the road / And much said he and I.
'Those breasts are flat and fallen now
Those veins must soon be dry;
Live in a heavenly mansion, not in some foul sty.

'Fair and foul are near of kin, / And fair needs foul,' I cried.
'My friends are gone, but that’s a truth / Nor grave nor bed denied,
Learned in bodily lowliness / And in the heart's pride.

'A woman can be proud and stiff / When on love intent;
But Love has pitched his mansion in / The place of excrement:
For nothing can be sole or whole / That has not been rent.'

8. Crazy Jane Grown Old Looks at the Dancers

I found that ivory image there / Dancing with her chosen youth,
But when he wound her coal-black hair
As though to strangle her, no scream
Or bodily movement did I dare, / Eyes under eyelids did so gleam:
Love is like the lion's tooth.

When she, and though some said she played
I said that she had danced heart's truth,
Drew a knife to strike him dead,
I could but leave him to his fate;
For, no matter what is said, / They had all that had their hate:
Love is like the lion's tooth.

Did he die or did she die? / Seemed to die or died they both?
God be with the times when I / Cared not a thraneen for what chanced
So that I had the limbs to try / Such a dance as there was danced --

Love is like the lion's tooth.

9. Crazy Jane on the Mountain

I am tried of cursing the Bishop / (Said Crazy Jane)
Nine books or nine hats / Would not make him a man.
I have found something worse / To meditate on.
A King had some beautiful cousins / But where are they gone?
Battered to death in a cellar / And he stuck to his throne.
Last night I lay on the mountain / (Said Crazy Jane)
There in a two horsed carriage / That on two wheels ran
Great bladdered Emer sat, / Her violent man
Cuchulain, sat at her side, / Thereupon,
Propped upon my two knees, / I kissed a stone;
I lay stretched out in the dirt / And I cried tears down.

10. Girl’s Song

I went out alone / To sing a song or two,
My fancy on a man, / And you know who.

Another came in sight / That on a stick relied
To hold himself upright: / I sat and cried.

And that was all my song-- / When everything is told,
Saw I an old man young / Or young man old?

11. Young Man’s Song

‘She will change,’ I cried, / ‘Into a withered crone.’
The heart in my side, / That so still had lain,
In noble rage replied / And beat upon the bone:


‘Uplift those eyes and throw / Those glances unafraid:
She would as bravely show / Did all the fabric fade;
No withered crone I saw / Before the world was made.’

Abashed by that report, / For the heart cannot lie,
I knelt in the dirt. / And I shall bend the knee
To my offended heart / Until it pardon me.

12. Her Anxiety

Earth in beauty dressed / Awaits returning spring.
All true love must die, / Alter at the best
Into some lesser thing. / Prove that I lie.

Such body lovers have, / Such exacting breath,
That they touch or sigh. / Every touch they give,
Love is nearer death. / Prove that I lie.

13. His Confidence

Undying love to buy / I wrote upon
The corners of this eye / All wrongs done.
What payment were enough / For undying love?

I broke my heart in two / So hard I struck.
What matter? for I know / That out of rock,
Out of a desolate source, / Love leaps upon its course.

14. Love’s Loneliness

Old fathers, great-grandfathers, / Rise as kindred should.
If ever lover’s loneliness / Came where you stood,
Pray that Heaven protect us / That protect your blood.

The mountain throws a shadow, / Thin is the moon’s horn;
What did we remember / Under the ragged thorn?
Dread has followed longing, / And our hearts are torn.

15. His Bargain

Who talks of Plato's spindle; / What set it whirling round?
Eternity may dwindle, / Time is unwound,
Dan and Jerry Lout / Change their loves about.

However they may take it, / Before the thread began
I made and may not break it / When the last thread has run,
A bargain with that hair / And all the windings there.

16. Three Things

‘O cruel Death, give three things back,’ / Sang a bone upon the shore;
‘A child found all a child can lack, / Whether of pleasure or of rest,
Upon the abundance of my breast’: / A bone wave-whitened and dried in the wind.

‘Three dear things that women know,’ / Sang a bone upon the shore;
‘A man if I but held him so / When my body was alive
Found all the pleasure that life gave’: / A bone wave-whitened and dried in the wind.

‘The third thing that I think of yet,’ / Sang a bone upon the shore,
‘Is that morning when I met / Face to face my rightful man
And did after stretch and yawn’: / A bone wave-whitened and dried in the wind.

17. Lullaby

Beloved, may your sleep be sound / That have found it where you fed.
What were all the world’s alarms / To mighty Paris when he found
Sleep upon a golden bed / That first night in Helen’s arms?

Sleep, beloved, such a sleep / As did that wild Tristram know
When, the potion's work being done, / Roe could run or doe could leap
Under oak and beechen bough, / Roe could leap or doe could run;

Such a sleep and sound as fell / Upon Eurotas' grassy bank
When the holy bird, that there / Accomplished his predestined will,
From the limbs of Leda sank / But not from her protecting care.

18. After Long Silence

Speech after long silence; it is right, / All other lovers being estranged or dead,
Unfriendly lamplight hid under its shade, / The curtains drawn upon unfriendly night,
That we descant and yet again descant / Upon the supreme theme of Art and Song:
Bodily decrepitude is wisdom; young / We loved each other and were ignorant.

19. Mad as the Mist and Snow

Bolt and bar the shutter, / For the foul winds blow:
Our minds are at their best this night, / And I seem to know
That everything outside us is / Mad as the mist and snow.

Horace there by Homer stands, / Plato stands below,
And here is Tully’s open page. / How many years ago
Were you and I unlettered lads / Mad as the mist and snow.

You ask what makes me sigh, old friend, / What makes me shudder so?
I shudder and I sigh to think / That even Cicero
And many-minded Homer were / Mad as the mist and snow.

20. Those Dancing Days are Gone

Come let me sing into your ear;
Those dancing days are gone,
All that silk and satin gear;
Crouch upon a stone,
Wrapping that foul body up
In as foul a rag;
I carry the sun in a golden cup,
The moon in a silver bag.

Curse as you may I sing it through; / What matter if the knave
That the most could pleasure you, / The children that he gave,
Are somewhere sleeping like a top / Under a marble flag?
I carry the sun in a golden cup, / The moon in a silver bag.

I thought it out this very day, / Noon upon the clock,
A man may put pretense away / Who leans upon a stick,
May sing, and sing until he drop, / Whether to maid or hag:
I carry the sun in a golden cup, / The moon in a silver bag.

21. ‘I am of Ireland’

‘I am of Ireland, / And the Holy Land of Ireland,
And time runs on,’ cried she.
‘Come out of charity, / Come dance with me in Ireland.’

One man, one man alone / In that outlandish gear,
One solitary man / Of all that rambled there
Had turned his stately head. / ‘That is a long way off,
And time runs on,’ he said, / ‘And the night grows rough.’

‘I am of Ireland, / And the Holy Land of Ireland,
And time runs on,’ cried she.
‘Come out of charity / And dance with me in Ireland.’

‘The fiddlers are all thumbs, / Or the fiddle-string accursed,
The drums and kettledrums / And the trumpets all are burst,
And the trombone,’ cried he, / ‘The trumpet and trombone,’
And cocked a malicious eye, / ‘But time runs on, runs on.’

‘I am of Ireland, / And the Holy Land of Ireland,
And time runs on,’ cried she.
‘Come out of charity / And dance with me in Ireland.’

22. The Dancer at Crauchan and Cro-Patrick

I, proclaiming that there is / Among birds or beasts or men,
One that is perfect or at peace, / Danced on Cruachan’s windy plain,
Upon Cro-Patrick sang aloud; / All that could run or leap or swim
Whether in wood, water or cloud, / Acclaiming, proclaiming, declaiming Him.

23. Tom at Crauchan

On Crauchan’s plain slept he / That must sing in a rhyme

What most could shake his soul: / ‘The stallion Eternity

Mounted the mare of Time, / ‘Gat the foal of the world.’

24. Her Dream

I dreamed as in my bed I lay,
All night’s fathomless wisdom come,
That I had shorn my locks away
And laid them on Love's lettered tomb:
But something bore them out of sight
In a great tumult of the air,
And after nailed upon the night
Berenice's burning hair.

25. Tom the Lunatic

Sang old Tom the lunatic / That sleeps under the canopy;
‘What change has put my thoughts astray / And eyes that had so keen a sight?
What has turned to smoking wick / Nature’s pure unchanging light?

‘Huddon and Duddon and Daniel O’Leary, / Holy Joe the beggar-man,
Wenching, drinking, still remain / Or sing a penance on the road;
Something made these eyeballs weary / That blinked and saw them in a shroud.

‘Whatever stands in field or flood, / Bird, beast, fish, or man,
Mare or stallion, cock or hen, / Stands in God’s unchanging eye
In all the vigor of its blood; / In that faith I live or die.’

26. Old Tom Again

Things out of perfection sail / And all their swelling canvas wear,
Nor shall the self-begotten fail / Though fantastic men suppose
Building yard and stormy shore, / Winding-sheet and swaddling-clothes.

27. The Delphic Oracle upon Plotinus

Behold that great Plotinus swim / Buffeted by such seas;
Bland Rhadamanthus beckons him, / But the Golden Race looks dim,
Salt blood blocks his eyes.

Scattered on the level grass / Or winding through the grove
Plato there and Minos pass, / There stately Pythagoras
And all the choir of Love.

28. Who goes with Fergus? (reprise)

Who will go drive with Fergus now, / And pierce the deep wood’s woven shade,
And dance upon the level shore? / Young man, lift up your russet brow,
And lift your tender eyelids, maid, / And brood on hopes and fear no more.

And no more turn aside and brood / Upon love’s bitter mystery;
For Fergus rules the brazen cars, / And rules the shadows of the wood,
And the white breast of the dim sea / And all dishevelled wandering stars.


Crazy Jane: Background for Joyce Vetter

Crazy Jane (CJ) is the subject of eight poems by W B Yeats (WBY) written in the mature phase of his poetic career. Jane is based upon a real person (known as “Cracked Mary”) from a village east of Galway in the west of Ireland (not far from Yeats’s own residence – the Norman keep, Thoor Ballylee).

WBY uses the persona of Jane to voice his disagreements with the Catholic Church and explore the topics of sex, social status, and right living. Jane, like Huckleberry Finn, is an unlikely choice for sainthood, yet Yeats has utmost respect for her long-suffering hard life, kind heart, and true humanity.

Crazy Jane and the Bishop
In this first CJ poem, she goes to the “blasted oak” at midnight. The oak has been struck by lightening, an auspicious sign for metaphysical ceremony. CJ is here aligned with pagan sensibility in contrast to the hypocritical Bishop. This is Jane’s meditation comparing the two primary men in her life: the condemning Bishop and her sometime lover, the rakish Jack the Journeyman. Her conclusion is that Jack is a “solid man” (a term still used in Ireland to denote a good, dependable, man – a mensch) for whom she has admiration even though he is prone to use her sexually with no intent to make her an honest woman through marriage, while the Bishop is a “coxcomb” that is, a figure worthy of derisive laughter. The Bishop admonishes her to quit living in sin (like a beast) and strive for heaven. She is to rendezvous with Jack at the oak, but if she were to see the Bishop she would do nothing more for him than spit her disdain.

Crazy Jane Reproved
CJ has been once again jilted by Jack’s infidelities (ala “Broth in the Pot”). She reveals her metaphysical bent by joining, as is her wont, the sacred and the profane. Jack is like fickle Zeus (in bull form seducing the Princess Europa). She proclaims that she doesn’t care about this, or the terrors that superstitious sailors warn against (the thunderstones). Heaven yawns at these negative things and so shall she. It doesn’t phase her; fol de rol or la dee da. If Heaven can make every secret part of any common shell into beautiful mother-of-pearl, the same holds true for herself, however the Bishop and his flock may regard her.

Crazy Jane on the Day of Judgment
CJ contemplates being judged by God as opposed to the type of judgment she gets from the Bishop/flock. She realizes that God is no prude and lusts after the whole truth “body and soul.” The “he” in the poem may be Jack; it’s certainly someone who knows her well.

Crazy Jane and Jack the Journeyman
Jack now dead, CJ reflects upon her relationship with the undependable Jack. As always, she embodies a metaphysical sensibility. She knows that even though the relationship may have been casual for Jack, her soul has become entwined with his. He (his spirit) may not realize this fact until the day described in the last stanza, when she has died and Jack walking along some road at night suddenly turns his head, now aware of her passing ghost.

Crazy Jane on God
CJ’s credo: All things are in God therefore all things are bearable. The first and last stanza focus on her personal dissatisfaction with her relationship to Jack. The second stanza concerns the human disposition to kill each other in battle. The third stanza tragedy concerns the sudden burning of a family’s home. Yes, life is tragic, but she can hold out a little longer because all things remain in God.

Crazy Jane Talks with the Bishop
CJ in dialogue with her nemesis. She tries to explain reality to him. Well-known metaphor “Love has pitched his mansion in / The place of excrement” (her metaphysical sensibility again).

Crazy Jane Grown Old looks at the Dancers
An aged CJ beholds the tango. She is stricken by the intensity of the dancers and sees them as a perfect metaphor for her experience with Jack. “Love is like the lion’s tooth” indeed.

Crazy Jane on the Mountain
In a solitary catharsis Jane goes to the mountain (perhaps Cro-Patrick a scene of ritualized catharsis, penance, and ordeal in Ireland). Here she dismisses the Bishop as now seeming trivial in the light of the massacre of the Romanovs by the revolutionaries in 1917. She dreams of Emer and Cuchulain (Yeats pronounced this COO-HOO – LAIN), the great warrior hero of the Red Branch mythos of Northern Ireland and his loyal wife, Emer (though he was not loyal to her). She identifies herself in this metaphor to the highest, noblest form available to her imagination. Even Emer, like herself, cannot depend on the fidelity of her mate. In this, at once, tragic and comic realization, she prostrates herself before heaven and cries her cathartic tears simultaneously tragic and healing. This moment of truth is an embodiment of Yeats’s notion of tragic/joy.

to be continued?






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