a pretty girl who naked is, is worth a million statues. - E.E. Cummings

An Irish Airman Foresees His Death

by W.B Yeats

1. I know that I shall meet my fate
2. Somewhere among the clouds above;
3. Those that I fight I do not hate,
4. Those that I guard I do not love;
5. My country is Kiltartan Cross,
6. My countrymen Kiltartan's poor,
7. No likely end could bring them loss
8. Or leave them happier than before.
9. Nor law, nor duty bade me fight,
10. Nor public men, nor cheering crowds,
11. A lonely impulse of delight
12. Drove to this tumult in the clouds;
13. I balanced all, brought all to mind,
14. The years to come seemed waste of breath,
15. A waste of breath the years behind
16. In balance with this life, this death.

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Click on a line to see some annotations. 1. Well duh, we all have to meet our fate eventually. 2. ...also perhaps a little fanciful that death would be in the clouds - too dream like perhaps? 3. Something most servicemen would agree with. 4. No sense of duty at all. 5. A lovely part of Ireland, located on the west coast of Galway. 6. Hfrtj 7. But England's difficulty was Ireland's opportunity, remember? 8. Yeats knew that the war wouldn't have any impact on the ordinary Irish person. 9. Ridiculous that laws ever made anyone fight. Conscription...what a a joke. 10. Charlie is a tough motherucker 11. What gets your gears going I suppose. 12. Clouds making a reappearance from here from line 2. 13. If I was the pilot in this poem, I wouldn't be making rational decisions unless I had a bottle of Jameson taken. 14. A disturbing thought. A growing one with young people nowadays, something I worry about. 15. In fairness to him, he lived in Kiltartan. 16. I'll see you in Valhalla, fictional poem pilot!