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(13 June 1865 – 28 January 1939 / County Dublin / Ireland)

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A Coat

I MADE my song a coat
Covered with embroideries
Out of old mythologies
From heel to throat;
But the fools caught it,
Wore it in the world's eyes
As though they'd wrought it.
Song, let them take it,
For there's more enterprise
In walking naked.

Submitted: Tuesday, May 15, 2001
Edited: Friday, April 01, 2011


Read poems about / on: june, song, home, world, dog

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Comments about this poem (A Last Confession by William Butler Yeats )

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  • Birgitta Heikka (4/2/2014 9:30:00 PM)

    Love the ending of this poem: For there is more enterprise in walking naked. Always associated nakedness with shame. Never thought of it in a different way.

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  • Ru Con (2/2/2014 10:21:00 PM)

    I think he's talking about one's persona, protective outer personality. But then people can take it, leaving the person exposed. So I guess he's then saying, screw it, better to be yourself, be naked and be comfortable with it.

  • Daniel Richmond (1/18/2014 7:47:00 PM)

    An amazing thought process behind this poem. Simple, biting and fun. I wonder how long it took to write.

  • Skywee Gh (1/18/2014 7:46:00 PM)

    lol....kikiki.more enterprice in walkin' naked...like a coat your poem is a coat..yeah.thanks.

  • * Sunprincess * (1/18/2014 5:07:00 PM)

    .............such a prized possession shouldn't be given up so easily...

  • Karen Sinclair (1/18/2014 10:00:00 AM)

    Intriguing.... this has a dreamlike quality but there is something disturbing here to me...the song is placed object like and as if he gifts his song, to swaddle it, almost protect it....mythological embroidery suggests to me that he hoped to protect it and distract others.. its almost like he visualised the title as the coat...heel to throat? overprotective, no way in...fools caught it/ Im guessing stole... as though they wrought rigid wrote i think a play on words here...song... let them take it, like bidding an old friend goodbye
    more enterprise in walking naked, i think its almost like he just accepted it and realised if he just let go it was his release and he felt they would hopefully feel guilty, smothered in the weight of the coat

    sorry if i waffle im just trying to make sense of this...

  • Allison Helman (7/3/2012 10:57:00 PM)

    I've read five W. B. Yeats poems tonight and, It is strange to say but, I don’t believe Mr. Yeats’ poetry can be fully understood for at least a century. I believe he made use of poetic devices beyond the current intellectual boundaries of literature. It’s not stylistic, it’s graphed on a different grid and can only be partially appreciated by what can be plotted in ours. I find it jarring that for all my schooling, no instructor read us Yeats. Maybe this is one reason why but, how I wish they had! I see a lack in my life.

  • Bernadette Wilson (1/18/2011 12:07:00 PM)

    I found the ~POEM~ was very, 'soothing'~ with lost's of warmth, and melody.

  • Andile Nozibusiso Mtshali (1/18/2011 3:57:00 AM)

    This is actually in response to an argument between Yeats and George Moore who accused Yeats of being a poser and pretending that he was from a higher social order than he really was. So this is Yeats saying he doesn\'t care about his outward appearance and status, he is sloughing it all off, ridding himself of his coat.

  • Praneetha Perera (1/18/2011 12:30:00 AM)

    I like poems written by simple words, then only the others can understand what you have written

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