Yeats, “Politics”

William Butler Yeats

Read By: Stephen Conteagüero

‘In our time the destiny of man presents its meanings in political terms.’—Thomas Mann

How can I, that girl standing there,
My attention fix
On Roman or on Russian
Or on Spanish politics?
Yet here’s a travelled man that knows
What he talks about,
And there’s a politician
That has both read and thought,
And maybe what they say is true
Of war and war’s alarms,
But O that I were young again
And held her in my arms!

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William Butler Yeats, "Politics" from The Poems of W. B. Yeats: A New Edition, edited by Richard J. Finneran. Copyright 1940 by Georgie Yeats, renewed © 1960 by Bertha Georgie Yeats. Copyright 1928 by Macmillan Publishing Company, renewed © 1956 by Georgie Yeats. Used by permission of Simon & Schuster, Inc.