Saturday, August 20, 2011

The Song of Wandering Aengus

As a teenager, I listened over and over again to Donovan's early albums along with Bob Dylan's albums and could never understand why some people couldn't hear the difference between their two distinct voices. Sometime around 1971 when Richard returned from Vietnam, I stopped listening to Donovan.

It was Bob Dylan's music that spoke to me then and continued to speak to me. He was not ethereal. He was deeply human and was making some serious mistakes, just as I was. He was also playful and paradoxical. He didn't appear as fragile as Donovan. I was fragile. I wanted whatever it was that Bob Dylan had that keep him going. Listening to his music kept me going.

Yesterday I spent some time watching the many YouTube videos of Donovan's early work. This is the one I liked the best. I love the old Donovan songs. That was a time of relative innocence for me and for many of us.


by: W.B. Yeats

Went out to the hazel wood,
Because a fire was in my head,
And cut and peeled a hazel wand,
And hooked a berry to a thread;

And when white moths were on the wing,
And moth-like stars were flickering out,
I dropped the berry in a stream
And caught a little silver trout.

When I had laid it on the floor
I went to blow the fire a-flame,
But something rustled on the floor,
And some one called me by my name:
It had become a glimmering girl
With apple blossom in her hair
Who called me by my name and ran
And faded through the brightening air.

Though I am old with wandering
Through hollow lands and hilly lands,
I will find out where she has gone,
And kiss her lips and take her hands;
And walk among long dappled grass,
And pluck till time and times are done
The silver apples of the moon,
The golden apples of the sun.

'The Song of Wandering Aengus' is reprinted from An Anthology of Modern Verse. Ed. A. Methuen. London: Methuen & Co., 1921.


The Solitary Walker said...

'Don't look Back' notwithstanding, I've always had a nostalgically sweet spot for Donovan. Though to blow in the wind rather than catch the wind is preferable for sure ...

Anonymous said...

I still listen to some of Donovan's songs and have Ferris Wheel on one of our most favorite music mixes on the iPod. He has a very lovely lilting voice.

am said...

Solitary Walker -- Did you ever go to a Donovan concert? He gave splendid and moving performances. I heard Donovan in concert in the late 60s at the Hollywood Bowl, long before I heard Bob Dylan in concert for the first time in 1974 at Boston Gardens with the The Band. Never dreamed I would hear Bob Dylan in concert. Never dreamed that the day would come that anyone who wanted to hear Bob Dylan in concert would have their chance. Never dreamed that I would stop listening to Donovan and then rediscover him again 40 years later.

robin andrea -- Thank you so much for reminding me of Ferris Wheel. I went back on YouTube to listen to some of the songs from Sunshine Superman. Yes. A lilting voice.