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W.B. Yeats quote "candle-like foam"

May 6, 2017

Yeats' poetry includes such beautiful imagery it is clear he was a great observer of the natural world.

From his poem "He gives his Beloved certain Rhymes" I use the image of "a  pearl-pale hand" as inspiration for a pendant and earrings, as shown here, but I also love his image of "candle-like foam on the dim sand". It was only when I was out walking around Mullaghmore Head when the seas were rough and whipping up foam which was caught in the inlets that I realised the foam is like melted wax collecting at the bottom of a dripping candle.

Above is the photograph I took that day with the quote overlaid on it and following is the complete poem.

 

He gives his beloved Certain Rhymes

 

FASTEN your hair with a golden pin, 

And bind up every wandering tress; 

I bade my heart build these poor rhymes: 

It worked at them, day out, day in, 

Building a sorrowful loveliness         5

Out of the battles of old times. 

  

You need but lift a pearl-pale hand, 

And bind up your long hair and sigh; 

And all men’s hearts must burn and beat; 

And candle-like foam on the dim sand,  10

And stars climbing the dew-dropping sky, 

Live but to light your passing feet.

 

      by W.B. Yeats

 

 

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