The wind among the reeds
Away, come away:
Empty your heart of its mortal dream.
The winds awaken, the leaves whirl round,
Our cheeks are pale, our hair is unbound,
Our breasts are heaving, our eyes are agleam,
Our arms are waving, our lips are apart;
And if any gaze on our rushing band,
We come between him and the deed of his hand,
We come between him and the hope of his heart.
I know that’s probably the first thing that comes to mind when reading the title: Yeats’ later poems; which, indeed, appeal to my ever-present melancholic side.
This piece, however, came out of a memory: a crisp late afternoon in Central Park. I was there quite a few years ago but I still have a vivid impression of this gorgeous sunset in September: there was a couple in their late twenties, he was pushing her on a swing, both trying to push away life problems for a few moments and go back to when you still expect everything to turn out fine.
The wind was gently twirling some fallen leaves around and it took me a little further down the lake where it was whistling through the high grass. I just sat there and enjoyed a brief moment of peace.
I remember the feeling as if it was yesterday: the power of memories! I thought of naming the piece “Sunday in the park with George”, except there was no George and someone else had already used it… so Yeats came to mind and there it is. Poetry, it seems, never leaves me alone.