Crazy Jane Grown Old Looks at the Dancers
Dreamed spring 1929? by William Butler Yeats; published 1931 as poem VII of Words for Music Perhaps
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
Did he die or did she die?
In W.B. Yeats: Selected Poetry, A. Norman Jeffares states in his endnotes that the Crazy Jane series
... was 'more or less founded' on Cracked Mary, an old woman living in Gort, County Galway, a local satirist. 'Crazy Jane grown old looks at the dancers' was suggested by a dream.The Introduction (p. xxx) states that Yeats wrote much of the Crazy Jane series during a burst of energy in the spring of 1929. My dating the dream to this period, however, is just an assumption that may need correction as I read more Yeats material.
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