It’s no secret that I’m partial to poetry (laugh and suffer the consequences) and although any inclination/inspiration I ever had for writing it has evaporated of late, my appreciation of this art is as strong as ever. The reason I mention this is because last week, I was reminded of one of my favourite poems, Aedh Wishes For The Clothes Of Heaven, by William Butler Yeats. I haven’t read this for far too long…
Aedh Wishes For The Clothes Of Heaven
Had I the heavens’ embroidered cloths,
Enwrought with golden and silver light,
The blue and the dim and the dark cloths
Of night and light and the half light,
I would spread the cloths under your feet:
But I, being poor, have only my dreams;
I have spread my dreams under your feet;
Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.
And just so you know, this is not solely the soppy love poem that it appears to be at first glance. Aedh is the Celtic god of death and everyone knows that if you allow someone else to use your dreams as a glorified doormat then it invariably leads to all sorts of bother. That said, it’s the ultimate romantic ideal, isn’t it? You give everything up for someone else and they the same for you, with the result that you both become the sickliest most happy people in the world ever. But…
Have you ever known anyone to tread softly on dreams? If you’re feeling anything like WBY was when he penned this for his mistress (unrequited, I believe) then I’d advise against giving some bird free reign to walk over your dreams. He freely admits he has nothing but his dreams – which, incidentally, pale in significance to nature’s beauty, etc – and knows that by allowing some girl to trample he is vulnerable. One dodgy move by her and he will be crushed; suddenly seamlessly dreamless and destroyed. Death by dangerous dabbling (with lust).
Unfortunately this poem reminds me of all the bad things about lesbians – being trampled almost to death by the heavy hooves of the abhorrent and left to pick up the remains. It makes me feel cynical and aged and skeptical of all the things that should be fun, carefree and ultimately fulfilling. And as for my dreams – at the moment they are all mine, mine, mine. And while I wouldn’t hesitate to let others in on the details, I’d draw the line firmly before the point of co-ownership. Some things should remain sacred.