Gentle Soul

Gentle Soul

A rainy day,  I walked from the opening of the bridge seen in the background.  When I got to the other side I encountered this Gentle Soul, whose name is forgotten to me, if I ever knew it.  She asked me if I would take her picture with her iPhone to send to her son, living in London. I said, “Of course!”  She added that her father had died in the past year.  She was visibly sad, and lost.  I asked her if I could take her picture with my camera and she consented. She and I parted ways.

After I conversed with a merry couple by the bridge, I headed to an ancient church down the lane.  It is St. Michael’s. As I entered the tiny chapel, I caught a glimpse of my new friend, brushing a tear from her eye.  I quickly fled from the doorway, and she came out.  We exchanged new words.  I asked her about her dad, and she changed the subject.  Again, we parted ways.  And, the last I saw her was in the distance walking in front of the train station, at Betws Y Coed.  To this day I wonder where she fled.  This poem by Wadsworth, reminds me of my encounter with a long lost friend.

The Arrow and the Song

I shot an arrow into the air,

It fell to earth, I knew not where;

For, so swiftly it flew, the sight

Could not follow it in its flight.

I breathed a song into the air,

It fell to earth, I knew not where;

For who has sight so keen and strong,

That it can follow the flight of song?

Long, long afterward, in an oak

I found the arrow, still unbroke;

And the song, from beginning to end,

I found again in the heart of a friend.

By Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807-1882)

William Butler Yeats ~ An Irish Poet

In Dublin, I happened upon one of the many public institutions, free of charge to enter.  In this case, the National Library of Ireland.  What a treasure!  It was serious inside.  Quiet, like a library, ought to be.  I didn’t go far, when I noticed a special exhibition for the poetry of William Butler Yeats.  I followed the arrow, and descended a couple short flights of stairs, to enter the display.  It was very dark down there.  The exhibits lit up inside display cases in a large spacious area, to view the works and life of Yeats.  The collection of Yeats was donated to Ireland by his former wife, and his two children.  Yeats married when he was 52, and to a young woman who was 25.  Apparently it was not the most normal marriage in the world, but his wife respected him enough to preserve his work for future generations to come.  I don’t claim to know much about his poetry, nor much about him, but was quite amazed by the eccentric life he lived.  I was also amazed by the exhibit, which I tripped inside of by accident, and had to run through quickly, because my traveling companions decided a coffee at a nearby coffee shop was more important than WBY.  Here is the website of the exhibition, and a couple of his quotes I transcribed from a brochure I picked up on the way out.  If you have flash drive and can enter the site, it’s the closest you can come to being there.  The tags below this article give an idea of the range of esoteric topics Yeats entertained in his life as an artist.  It’s worth a visit.

I have spent all my life in

clearing out of poetry every

phrase written for the eye, and

bringing all back to syntax that

is for the ear alone…”Write for

the ear”, I thought, so that you

may be instantly understood as

when an actor or folk singer

stands before an audience.


I am persuaded that our intellects at twenty contain all the truths we shall ever find.