Reciting Yeats in New Zealand

November 30, 2017

New Zealand--the last major land mass settled by humans around 1250-1300 AD--evokes a certain mystique, an ethereal, other-worldly beauty that can't quite be found anywhere else. Travelling with my companions around the ancient, arcadian landscape of the South Island, we hiked through mountains and valleys, fjords and townships. The highlight of my trip had to be the visit to Peter's Pool--a small but perfectly still kettle lake that reflected a mirror image of the wide glacial valley at Franz Josef Glacier. It was the perfect place to recite Yeats's "She Hears the Cry of the Sedge":


“I wander by the edge 
Of this desolate lake 
Where wind cries in the sedge 
Until the axle break 
That keeps the stars in their round
And hands hurl in the deep 
The banners of East and West 
And the girdle of light is unbound, 
Your breast will not lie by the breast 
Of your beloved in sleep.”
- W.B. Yeats











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