The Tower (poem)

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"The Tower" is a poem by the Irish poet William Butler Yeats. It is a passionate indictment of a man wrestling with age. It is the second poem in The Tower, a 1928 collection of Yeats's poems.

Below appears a small extract from the poem:


What shall I do with this absurdity -

O heart, O troubled heart - this caricature,

Decrepit age that has been tied to me

As to a dog's tail?

Never had I more

Excited, passionate, fantastical

Imagination, nor an ear and eye

That more expected the impossible -

No, not in boyhood when with rod and fly,

Or the humbler worm, I climbed Ben Bulben's back

And had the livelong summer day to spend.

It seems that I must bid the Muse go pack,

Choose Plato and Plotinus for a friend

Until imagination, ear and eye,

Can be content with argument and deal

In abstract things; or be derided by

A sort of battered kettle at the heel.

W.B.Yeats