My favourite WB Yeats poem: Dearbhla Walsh on ‘He wishes for the Cloths of Heaven’

Cloths-of-heavenFrom The Irish Times, Irish Emmy-winning drama director Dearbhla Walsh talks about her favourite Yeats poem

Why Dearbhla Walsh chose this poem

Growing up in Co Sligo, we were particularly exposed to all things Yeats. I loved, learned and recited many of his poems in competition at the annual Sligo Easter feiseanna. I even won a few medals and certificates. Ironically, He Wishes for the Cloths of Heaven was the poem I performed the most as a child – but in private. It expressed for me the fear and the vulnerability of growing up feeling different from those around me. It still makes me feel my heart beat loudly – but now with courage and with hope. When it comes to love we are all equal. Equally afraid. Equally hopeful. Yes to Yeats. Yes to equality.

Dearbhla Walsh is an Emmy-winning drama director from Tubbercurry 

He wishes for the Cloths 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.

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