Sunday, June 6, 2010

on the grand canal

i've long dreamed of living
in other places
friesland, iceland,
and venice
have hovered
in my imagining

if it was venice
i could live in this house
with my friends

the artists
and the poets
the thinkers
and the musicians of my life

those people
who have featured in stories
and who have told their stories
sung their songs
played their music
been played by music
lived their visions
and turned their visions into life

where the wave of moonlight glosses -
weaving olden dances
'till the moon has taken flight
and whispering in their ears
gives them unquiet dreams
away with us he's going,
the solemn-eyed:
for he comes, the human child,
to the waters and the wild
with a faery, hand in hand . . . .

words excerpted from "the stolen child" william butler yeats


Joanna said...

Wouldn't it be wonderful to live in a place like that with compatible and fascinating friends!

concerned citizen said...

The Stolen Child is one of my favorite poems by William Butler Yeats. I was an English community college teacher for 14 years before shifting to a new career path. I love the concept of a fairy luring a child away. Actually I heard the Irish used the myth to explain why some children were born with certain mental challenges. A fairy had stolen the original child and replaced it with a changeling. A comforting sort of myth I would say.
I love the fantasy you have of living with artists and musicians in a sort of salon atmosphere in Venice. At least that is what it sounds like to me from your description. Lovely.
Come away oh human child To the waters and the wild
With a faery, hand in hand.
For the world's more full of weeping than you can understand.

Jenny Stevning said...


Renée said...

a wonderful atmosphere in your beautiful poem, freedom and tranquility and Yeats of course...unique! It is always so nice to visit your blog, Steven!

alaine@éclectique said...

I'd love to live in Tuscany for at least three months! We're visiting Venice in November; only one day but hey!

NanU said...

Venice is indeed a wonderful place to live, away from cars and trucks, surrounded by history, beauty and peace (and tourists). I'd love to live there too!

ALeks said...

And I,in my dreams,can not imagine any other place for you to live with your friends than in your visions.This one is strong and close to me as I dream of such a places,gardens filled with laughter and singing of voices i love to hear!! And water! And rain!

Bonnie, Original Art Studio said...

Don't know if I would qualify, but I would love to rent a room! :-)

Pauline said...

Steven, it seems to me you are one of those

who have featured in stories
and who have told their stories
sung their songs
played their music
been played by music
lived their visions
and turned their visions into life"

Linda Sue said...

Oh Steven- I am such a sucker for Venice- have been there three times- last may spent three weeks there - stayed in an ancient palace by the S. Maria Gloriosa dei Frari.It is the most romantic , interesting city ever invented- quiet and watery...however- I will say that this last trip was probably the last...Venice has become obscene with tourists day trippers - huge cruise ships dwarfing the fragile little city. If and when you do go stay on Murrano or Burano, and invite me to tag along!Meet you for a spritz! It is such a sad crumbling haunted place, Venice, and utterly love-able.

Friko said...

Wherever you live, steven, your songs, your poems, your thoughts will be with you. Happy is the man who find peace and beauty and truth at home.

Titus said...

Oh steven, save a room so I can visit occasionally. Please!
Three trips to Venice now, and it is not enough.
Wonderful choice of picture.

steven said...

joanna in my imagining it would be amazing. i've seen enough movies and read enough books to suppose that it'd be fraught with catastrophe and all sorts of crazy scenes but what the heck!!! steven

steven said...

hello concerned citizen - cool moniker!!! my use of the poem here is my first contact with it. your unpacking of some of its theme is fascinating of course. i'm glad you enjoyed my little imagining. steven

steven said...

jenny i'm glad you enjoyed this as much as i enjoyed creating it! steven

steven said...

renee thankyou for that very kind and generous comment. steven

steven said...

alaine! you lucky lucky woman!! steven

steven said...

nanu so you've spent some time there! i came close to renting an apartment there when i hit fifty and thought my life was coming to an end. the tourist bit is the only drawback that i can think of. steven

steven said...

aleks you're such a poet! such a visionary! steven

steven said...

bonnie i don;t know about the qualifications really . . . my bloggy chums are extraordinary people and i'd happily have them allw andering 'round that big old house. living their lives. sort of like the big old house we inhabit and share right here! steven

steven said...

well pauline i'm me that's for sure. i've been all of those things to some degree at some point in my life but i have this idea that given the right context and the right degree of freedom that i could be so much more than i am. so whose holding the reins?! steven

steven said...

linda sue - three weeks! oh my oh my. i should feel envy but actually i feel happy for you. i have read and heard about the tourist issue and especially that it colours the experience even more than the stinky smells from the lagoon and the canals! i have other fantasies - iceland should become real for me in the summer of 2011 and friesland hopefully the year after that or vice versa depending on my frame of mind!! i'll be sure to let you know. meet you anywhere for a spritz or whatever!! steven

steven said...

friko that is very true. i'm not actually looking for happiness as much as a different sort of presence - that leads to greater fulfillment of my reason for being. does that make sense? that context could affect that? hmmmm. steven

steven said...

titus - boy oh boy you've also been there three times!!! how is it that so many of my bloggy faves have already done what i dream of.,...... steven

Reya Mellicker said...

Ah. John Ruskin: one of my favorites.

I'll meet you in Iceland! Yeah.

Noelle Clearwater said...

Hi Steven,
the concerned citizen was me, Noelle, but it didn't let me leave my real name before it got printed. Sorry about that. I have no problem giving my real name in your blog. It was I who discussed Yeats poem and thanks for your comment. Appreciated.
Noelle Clearwater