Friday, September 27, 2013

The Two Kings, W.B. Yeats

I read Treasure Island when I was a kid.  I think it was the first book I completed.  My folks had bought me a great hard bound edition with NC Wyeth's painted illustrations.  It had that rough hewn pages so it looked like it could of been in some pirates foot chest.   I would force myself to read through a chapter so I could get to the illustration page.

check them out if you haven't seen them.  NC Wyeth Treasure Island Illustrations.

Below is my attempt at a story book illustration.  W.B. Yeats has some great epic adventure poems. Many of his poems are re-tellings of Irish myths.  They are full of shape shifting humans, unloved beasts, spirit worlds and fairy lovers that visit in the night.

 below is an excerpt from the poem "The Two Kings"

Amid the elaborate wilderness of the air.
Through bush they plunged and over ivied root,
And where the stone struck fire, while in the leaves
A squirrel whinnied and a bird screamed out;
But when at last he forced those sinewy flanks  35
Against a beech bole, he threw down the beast
And knelt above it with drawn knife. On the instant
It vanished like a shadow, and a cry
So mournful that it seemed the cry of one
Who had lost some unimaginable treasure  40
Wandered between the blue and green leaf
And climbed into the air, crumbling away,
Till all had seemed a shadow or a vision
But for the trodden mire, the pool of blood,
The disembowelled horse.