Wednesday, March 16, 2011

salley






Down by the salley gardens my love and I did meet;
She passed the salley gardens with little snow-white feet.
She bid me take love easy, as the leaves grow on the tree;
But I, being young and foolish, with her would not agree.

In a field by the river my love and I did stand,
And on my leaning shoulder she laid her snow-white hand.
She bid me take life easy, as the grass grows on the weirs;
But I was young and foolish, and now am full of tears.

William Butler Yeats


I love this Yeats poem so much because a "salley" happens to be a willow tree. Salley is an anglicisation of the Irish "saileach", meaning willow, i.e., a tree of the genus Salix. Willows are known as "salleys" or "salley trees" in parts of Ireland.  This poem was subsequently set to music by Herbert Hughes to the air "The Maids of the Mourne Shore" in 1909.

'Tis my Scots-Irish I'm a-feelin', stretchin' its bonny legs and doin' a fancy jig. Your DNA doesn't have to be tingling to enjoy this song. Everybody is Irish this week. And please don't forget to send a big chunk of your good Irish energies and prayers to our dear friends in Japan.



photo borrowed from Google images

51 comments:

  1. Lovely poem, Willow! And the picture is so beautiful - is it a painting? I love the greenish light, it has a really magical atmosphere!

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  2. I too relish these words and the picture above them here is glorious.

    God bless the Irish, as they say and the Japanese.

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  3. A whole 'orchard' of pollarded willows... what a sight!

    I always thought 'sally' came directly from 'salix'. Now I know better; thank you.

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  4. what a wondrous feast to wake up to:)
    Blessings!
    And the art is just gorgeous

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  5. Hi! Willow~
    Thanks, for sharing...The beautiful image, the beautiful words by William Butler Yeats, and the luck Of the Irish and most definitely, the prayers and well-wishes, for our friends around the globe in...Japan.
    DeeDee

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  6. Gorgeous picture. I love Yeats and willows. I must have some Irish someplace in my blood; I share their love of the land.

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  7. interesting about Salley. I just discovered Yeats wrote a play about a wishing well and now need to find it. Sending prayers for Japan.

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  8. This is one of my favorite songs of all time, and one of the few that I can actually play well on the tin whistle.

    I first heard it in the movie "Dancing at Lughnasa". Which, if you haven't seen it yet, you should put on your "to see" list.

    8-)

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  9. Loved the poem and your pic. And to know the meaning of Sally. Thanks

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  10. "Dancing at Lughnasa" is one of my personal faves. It's about time for another watch!

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  11. The perfect poem for you--I do so love Mr. Yeats. Gorgeous picture as well. Strength to the Japanese...

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  12. I was imagining my Irish Nana's voice reading the poem and enjoyed it that much more, also LOVE the image. I was unable to watch the video.

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  13. Lovely! I first heard Karen Matheson singing this song with Maura O'Connell, on the Transatlantic Sessions, a few years ago now. Thanks for the reminder.

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  14. Jeanette, the embedding of the video has been disabled (darn), but if you click on the screen it will take you to YouTube.

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  15. the Irish have a gift indeed
    such beauty in the words
    such beauty in the music
    such beauty in their voices
    a tug at the heart strings that need no tugging
    thanks for the beautiful photo also

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  16. I loved it all...the painting, Yeats, and the glorious song. I am getting out my green!

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  17. In my teaching days I used to teach my pupils to sing this very beautiful song - brought back memories.

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  18. Thanks Tess :)
    I just came back to get the name because I figured I could just go search it out. I love this music, it probably soothes my soul more than any other. Reminds me of childhood summers spent in Ireland and my family there. At gatherings everyone took a turn at singing a song and I swear they all knew a different one, lovely memories.

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  19. Tess Magical words and image. You make it come to life!

    A Special Gift on my site just in time for spring!Come Enter!

    xoxo
    Karena
    Art by Karena

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  20. The poem is lovely, Willow. This is my first visit to your blog and I hope to be back often. I hope you have a great day. Blessings...Mary

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  21. Yeats... impetuous young man, then wizened. Thanks for sharing an old favorite!

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  22. How can there be so much pain in a place where there is so much natural beauty? An allegory for Japan in a way. The lyrical beauty of Ireland is dancing at the manor today. A wonderful post dear Willow. Thank you for sharing this.

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  23. Weaver, I adore hearing children sing. This song would be extra special.

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  24. Mary, welcome to Willow Manor. Hope you come back for a visit soon!

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  25. Sally's Silly Cycle? Willows are a pleasure; so is Yeats, and so, sometimes, is being Irish. When being Irish is no fun, I like to be a Scot - they like no fun fine. I'll never make an Englishman, though - I just don't seem to have it in me.

    Every now and then i like to lay claim to a little Chinese, or something Germanic - many have said, though, that I'm probably French.

    Thanks for the poem, Tess K. And the reminder to stretch hands across the water; this is a mighty big world, and very easy to be disconnected from emotionally. Here on the Coast, folks are buying up iodine tablets and the like; we fear the radiation from the Fukushima explosions. It must be terrifying in Tokyo.

    Akira Kurosawa's wonderful film Dreams perhaps prophesied this moment (I think it is the fifth dream, where the nuclear plant releases earth demons, orange clouds that destroy all).

    A good night to all out there - may everyone find a moment of peace tonight, and recognize it.

    PG

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  26. Tess, you have blended the painting, poem and song into perfectly poignant alchemy that draws in the sorrowful shores of Japan in 2011. Beautiful.

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  27. what a lovely poem, and the insight you bring is wonderful...I never knew it was a willow tree...

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  28. Perfect marriage of image, words and song. Can we call you Salley? : )

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  29. Thank you for this wonderful treat! :-)

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  30. I always learn something new when I visit Willow Manor! And yes, many prayers for Japan.

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  31. I thoroughly enjoyed your poem and the post. I watched the video too. As for willow trees. We used to have two. One on either side of my back yard and when we had this office addition added, I thought one of the trees should be cut down as it was getting large and overhanging the roof. So they cut it down. Honest, to goodness, the inside was hollow. totally eaten out by ants. The whole tree was supported by about an inch of material where the bark is. We check the other and it was worse so it came down too.

    I had a pond in those days and a curved or arched, red, Japanese bridge across one end of it. And the willows made the pond a mess as they were constantly dropping stuff into it.

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  32. Great post Tess, good choices!
    And the picture has that wonderful dream/surreal/hyper-real quality that is transfixing!

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  33. Can a photo be eerie and comforting all at once?? Well, this one is really stunning! Thanks for the education today!

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  34. What is lovelier than a Yeats poem?
    Not too many things..for sure! The painting truly compliments the words...it pleases my half-Celtic ♥.

    Prayers going non-stop for our neighbours in Japan...

    Love,

    ♥ Robin ♥

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  35. Willow,
    Aye, 'tis a proper tune to bring out the Irish in us all! ;)
    rel

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  36. I love that poem and the song!

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  37. Thank you. The image, the words, the music… You’ve provided a very good place to end today.

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  38. Ah, to be young, and bid by one's love to take love easy! And to spurn such advice as that!

    To be young in all ages, is to be foolish - and to be old in all ages is regret.

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  39. That was so good! It took me back to our anniversary in Ireland a couple of years ago and sitting in a pub two feet from a group like that. Great song.

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  40. Hi I'm jasmin..beautiful music, beautiful words and a very nice picture .. great editing too

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  41. I feel it is hardly necessary to say that it is one of my very favourite poems, but it is and I will. You know Tess, one day we will meet and we will not have to be introduced.

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  42. What a delightful rendition of the song, Willow. And the painting is a perfect accompaniment to the poem as well.

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  43. I've just this minute come across your site and only a few days ago I moved into my new house which is called ... The Willows!! Spooky coincidence. But a beautiful site and, yes, a beautiful house name, too.

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  44. What a wonderful poem and word etymology.

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  45. Ahhh, W.B. Yeats--"I will arise and go now....."
    Beautiful image...great pairing!

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Inject a few raisins of conversation into the tasteless dough of existence.
― O. Henry (and me)