Guest post, “Portrait of a poet with a book”

Photoshopped by me, a 1920 photograph of William Butler Yeats holding a copy of his edition of Blake is now up at Hell’s Printing Press: The Blog of the Blake Archive and Blake Quarterly, with some information about the history of the image. Click



“Lapis Lazuli”: the short view and the long

1. The short view:

I have heard that hysterical women say
They are sick of the palette and the fiddle-bow,
Of poets that are always gay,
For everybody knows or should know
That if nothing drastic is done
Aeroplane and Zeppelin will come out,
Pitch like King Billy bomb-balls in
Until the town lie beaten flat.


2. Wyndham Lewis, a contemporary of Mr. Yeats who views himself as a destructive mechanism, charges his palette.


3. Ascending in the mechanism, Mr. Yeats takes the long view. 

Zeno Diemer, “German Airships over the Thames.” Postcard, ca. 1915. Photoshopped.

There, on the mountain and the sky,
On all the tragic scene they stare.
One asks for mournful melodies;
Accomplished fingers begin to play.
Their eyes mid many wrinkles, their eyes,
Their ancient, glittering eyes, are gay.