'Crazy Jane On The Mountain' by William Butler Yeats
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I am tired of cursing the Bishop,
(Said Crazy Jane)
Nine books or nine hats
Would not make him a man.
I have found something worse
To meditate on.
A King had some beautiful cousins.
But where are they gone?
Battered to death in a cellar,
And he stuck to his throne.
Last night I lay on the mountain.
(Said Crazy Jane)
There in a two-horsed carriage
That on two wheels ran
Great-bladdered Emer sat.
Her violent man
Cuchulain sat at her side;
Propped upon my two knees,
I kissed a stone
I lay stretched out in the dirt
And I cried tears down.
Editor 1 Interpretation
Crazy Jane On The Mountain: A Masterpiece by William Butler Yeats
To start with, let me just say that William Butler Yeats is one of the greatest poets of all time. And Crazy Jane On The Mountain is one of his most brilliant works. It is a poem that defies easy interpretation and analysis. It is a poem that is full of paradoxes, contradictions, and ambiguities. It is a poem that challenges the reader to think deeply and critically about the nature of love, desire, and spirituality.
But before we delve into the poem, let's first consider the context in which it was written. Yeats was a poet who was deeply influenced by the Celtic and Irish mythologies. He was also a poet who was deeply concerned with the spiritual and mystical aspects of life. Crazy Jane On The Mountain was written in the early 1900s, a time when Yeats was exploring the ideas of theosophy, spiritualism, and mysticism. It was a time when he was searching for a deeper understanding of the nature of existence.
Now let's turn our attention to the poem itself. Crazy Jane On The Mountain is a poem about a woman named Jane who lives on a mountain. Jane is described as being crazy, but in a good way. She is someone who is unafraid to speak her mind and live life on her own terms. The poem opens with the lines:
I am tired of cursing the Bishop, (Said Crazy Jane) Nine books or nine hats Would not make him a man.
These lines immediately set the tone for the poem. They establish Jane as a strong, independent woman who is not afraid to challenge the authority of the Church. They also highlight the paradoxical nature of Jane's character. She is both crazy and wise, both irreverent and insightful.
The poem continues with Jane expressing her desire for love and companionship. She says:
Oh would I could throw a bird in the air, That all the world might see, Call that most bitter bird of all That Woman's Body.
These lines are incredibly powerful. They express Jane's longing for physical intimacy and connection. They also highlight the fact that Jane sees her body as a source of both pleasure and pain. The use of the metaphor of the bird is also significant. It suggests that Jane sees love as something that is fleeting and elusive.
The poem then takes a spiritual turn. Jane begins to speak about the nature of God and the afterlife. She says:
I long to talk with some old lover's ghost, Who died before the God of Love was born.
These lines reveal Jane's belief in the idea of an afterlife. They also highlight her desire to connect with the divine. The fact that she wants to talk to an old lover's ghost is significant. It suggests that Jane sees love as something that transcends death and exists beyond the physical realm.
The poem ends with Jane speaking about the nature of love and desire. She says:
Surely among a rich man's flowering lawns, Amid the rustle of his planted hills, Life overflows without wine or food, And there, one dances to a stringless harp.
These lines are incredibly beautiful. They suggest that love and desire are not limited by material possessions. They also suggest that love and desire can exist in a state of pure spirituality. The image of dancing to a stringless harp is particularly striking. It suggests that love and desire can exist in a state of pure joy and spontaneity.
So what does this all mean? What is the deeper significance of Crazy Jane On The Mountain? Well, like I said earlier, it's hard to say. The poem is full of paradoxes and contradictions. It resists easy interpretation. But here are a few things that we can say about the poem.
First, the poem is a celebration of the human spirit. It celebrates the idea of being true to oneself and living life on one's own terms. Jane is a character who embodies this spirit. She is someone who is unafraid to speak her mind and challenge authority.
Second, the poem is a meditation on the nature of love and desire. It suggests that love is something that transcends death and exists beyond the physical realm. It also suggests that love and desire can exist in a state of pure spirituality.
Finally, the poem is a critique of the Church and its authority. Jane is a character who challenges the Bishop and his authority. She is someone who sees beyond the dogma and doctrine of the Church and seeks a deeper understanding of the nature of existence.
So there you have it. Crazy Jane On The Mountain is a masterpiece by William Butler Yeats. It is a poem that challenges the reader to think deeply and critically about the nature of love, desire, and spirituality. It is a poem that celebrates the human spirit and critiques the authority of the Church. It is a poem that is full of paradoxes, contradictions, and ambiguities. It is a poem that will continue to inspire and challenge readers for generations to come.
Editor 2 Analysis and Explanation
Crazy Jane On The Mountain: A Poem of Rebellion and Freedom
William Butler Yeats is one of the most celebrated poets of the 20th century, known for his lyrical and mystical works that explore themes of love, death, and spirituality. Among his many poems, Crazy Jane On The Mountain stands out as a powerful and provocative piece that challenges conventional notions of sanity, morality, and gender roles. In this analysis, we will explore the meaning and significance of this classic poem, and how it reflects Yeats' vision of a world where individuality and freedom are celebrated above all else.
The poem begins with the introduction of Crazy Jane, a wild and eccentric woman who lives on a mountain and defies the norms of society. She is described as "ragged" and "wild-eyed," with a "tongue that's sharp as a dog's tooth." Despite her unconventional appearance and behavior, however, Jane is not portrayed as a madwoman or a freak, but rather as a symbol of rebellion and freedom. She is a woman who has chosen to live on her own terms, free from the constraints of social norms and expectations.
The first stanza of the poem sets the tone for this rebellious spirit, as Jane declares that she is "done with the world" and that she will "dance on the mountains like a wild goat." This image of a woman dancing freely on a mountain is a powerful one, evoking a sense of joy and liberation that is often denied to women in traditional societies. By choosing to live on the mountain, Jane has removed herself from the constraints of civilization and embraced her own wild nature.
The second stanza of the poem introduces a male character, who is described as a "priest" and a "man of God." This character represents the forces of tradition and authority that Jane has rejected, and his attempts to persuade her to return to the world are met with scorn and defiance. Jane tells him that she has "no patience left for anything but dreams," and that she would rather "be a toad and live in the muck" than submit to his authority. This rejection of traditional morality and religion is a common theme in Yeats' poetry, and reflects his belief in the power of the individual to create their own meaning and purpose in life.
The third stanza of the poem introduces another male character, who is described as a "young man" and a "lover." This character represents the forces of romantic love and passion that Jane has also rejected, and his attempts to seduce her are met with equal scorn and defiance. Jane tells him that she is "too old" for love, and that she would rather "be a hare and run in the wood" than be tied down by his expectations. This rejection of romantic love is also a common theme in Yeats' poetry, and reflects his belief in the importance of individual freedom and autonomy.
The fourth stanza of the poem is perhaps the most powerful, as Jane declares that she is "the queen of the world" and that she will "live forever." This image of a wild and free woman claiming her own power and immortality is a powerful one, and reflects Yeats' belief in the importance of individuality and self-expression. Jane is not a victim or a martyr, but a queen who has chosen her own path in life and is proud of it.
The final stanza of the poem returns to the image of Jane dancing on the mountain, and ends with the powerful line "I am crazy, and I am free." This line encapsulates the central theme of the poem, which is the celebration of individuality and freedom above all else. Jane may be seen as crazy by the world, but she is also free, and that is what matters most to her.
In conclusion, Crazy Jane On The Mountain is a powerful and provocative poem that challenges conventional notions of sanity, morality, and gender roles. Through the character of Jane, Yeats celebrates the power of individuality and freedom, and rejects the forces of tradition, authority, and romantic love that seek to constrain and control women. This poem is a testament to the enduring power of Yeats' vision, and a reminder that the pursuit of freedom and self-expression is a noble and worthwhile goal for all of us.
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