Treasure Island

William Butler Yeats

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

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A Crazed Girl


THAT crazed girl improvising her music.
Her poetry, dancing upon the shore,

Her soul in division from itself
Climbing, falling She knew not where,
Hiding amid the cargo of a steamship,
Her knee-cap broken, that girl I declare
A beautiful lofty thing, or a thing
Heroically lost, heroically found.

No matter what disaster occurred
She stood in desperate music wound,
Wound, wound, and she made in her triumph
Where the bales and the baskets lay
No common intelligible sound
But sang, 'O sea-starved, hungry sea.'

Submitted: Tuesday, May 15, 2001

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  • * Sunprincess * (6/9/2014 6:42:00 AM)

    ~ THAT crazed girl improvising her music.
    Her poetry, dancing upon the shore, ~
    ..............would love to read the remaining lines of her poetry
    .........this is a great beginning....~ 'O sea-starved, hungry sea.' ~
    ...... (Report) Reply

  • Babatunde Aremu (2/12/2013 6:45:00 AM)

    As it was in the begining so it is now. I hope our present artists we read this. They are weird (Report) Reply

  • Manonton Dalan (2/12/2012 3:32:00 AM)

    britney spears could outshine that crazed
    girl if it was happening today and honestly
    madonna is genius in music and entertainment.
    on last stanza could be describing famous janet
    kackson malfunction decades later. (Report) Reply

  • Ian Fraser (12/6/2010 8:29:00 PM)

    A typical romantic view of insanity as divine inspiration. The truly insane are not happy and their imitation of happiness merely serves to emphasise their misery. Yeats understands none of this. (Report) Reply

  • Sadiqullah Khan (2/15/2010 1:18:00 AM)

    The transcendental value
    Put upon the word crazed
    Otherwise the word insane
    Her sounds not commonly intelligible
    And one song she sings
    Is actually making her more free
    But fear still grips her of the hungry sea
    Which she transforms into a song improvising
    Insanity itself is freedom
    From the existing norms and codes
    Be that fate divine or bonds
    What are words become polemics
    When taken to the scene
    And where you make conclusions
    He has shown us a picture of a girl
    In a state of spectacular existence
    Now she will appear different
    Every one with own eye (Report) Reply

  • Adam Reed (2/12/2010 12:08:00 PM)

    not to be a hater to Yeats but the rhymes were a little stale. perfect with the metaphors and still worthy of the rating. thats the only beef i have with this. (Report) Reply

  • Terence George Craddock (2/12/2010 11:38:00 AM)

    This is what Yeats said she is, A Grazed Girl, not a sprightly nymph dancing by the shores of a briny sea, she is a beautiful but tragic image of insanity.
    THAT crazed girl improvising her music.
    Her poetry, dancing upon the shore, And she is insane with the tune of her internal song. 'Her knee-cap broken'... reality check, it is broken, that is why like a puppet on a string; 'Climbing, falling' she dances on 'Her soul in division from itself... She knew not where, '. She is insane 'She stood in desperate music wound, Wound, wound, and she made in her triumph' because she dances on 'No matter what disaster occurred' it did not touch her, she made no 'No common intelligible sound But sang, 'O sea-starved, hungry sea.' and herein may lie a reason for her insanity. (Report) Reply

  • Sadiqullah Khan (2/12/2010 1:08:00 AM)

    'Crazed' does not mean insane here. To me, she is liberated improvosing her music, poetry and dance very symbolically, and is brave to face the wolrd, despite her injuries and the hungry sea. Heroically lost, heroically found. Yeats has captured this view from a distance with keen observation. He has gone to the soul of that girl of which she herself is unaware.The style has a class peculiar to Yeats. (Report) Reply

  • Ramesh T A (2/12/2010 12:47:00 AM)

    Sea disaster might have made her insane! Some become poets when becoming mad. Her mental inclination towards music and poetry has made her dance with the song she has composed to fight against the sea the cause for disaster and thereby causing her madness! Poet has caught the point seeing her and composed telling all he knows pretty well! (Report) Reply

  • Indira Renganathan (2/12/2010 12:41:00 AM)

    She's a lonely dancer singing ''O sea-starved, hungry sea.' up the steamship upon the shore....she seems to be melancholically ecstatic too....perhaps I guess she's in search of her lost lover whom the sea had gobbled and that she in agony is ready to vent herself to the sea's hunger....right, Mr.Yeats...? (Report) Reply

  • Tai Chi Italy (11/21/2009 8:32:00 PM)

    I knew I would find a poem to suit my personality. Thanks Wil! lol

    Smiling, ship wrecked

    Tai (Report) Reply

  • Himaya Marinas (2/12/2009 8:37:00 PM)

    A literal meaning of crazed is insane or unable to control emotion and no one will give a glimpse of admiration to that girl. But still she captured the heart of a man.I think when a man love a woman. All his aware of is the goodness that girl possess. (Report) Reply

  • quercus : I've never got paid for my hits... (2/12/2007 2:41:00 PM)

    Passion for something or someone we love at times may go hand in hand with madness - some kind of temporary state of excessive excitement which enables us to face most difficult challenges and meet them exploring our talents and capabilities...
    I believe THAT crazed girl was seen in the moment of creating something she was passionate about. It was the moment of an artistic ecstasy pushing her into another state – the state of an extreme concentration which made her become insensitive to everything that surrounded her… I find this write rather beautiful…Awesome work :) (Report) Reply

Read all 24 comments »

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