Le jour où le Poète reprit sa lyre. « Down by the Salley Gardens » ou la nostalgie des origines

Anne-Marie Gouiffès


The Irish poet Yeats tells the story that as he was walking one day in the Ballisodare countryside, he heard a woman singing some remnants of a very old song that moved him. The poem that he then wrote is, he assures us: “an attempt to reconstruct an old song from three lines imperfectly remembered by an old peasant woman in the village of Ballisodare, Sligo, who often sings them to herself” (Yeats 1889, 90).

Weaving together reverie and thought in “Down by the Salley Gardens”, this poem of Yeats that became, in its turn a song again, I have tried to approach this land where poetry and music are still reaching out for each other, animated by an ever present longing for a common root: that of a time where words and sounds were not yet divided.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.15203/ATeM_2021_2.09


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