What shall I do with this absurdity —
O heart, O troubled heart — this caricature,
Decrepit age that has been tied to me
As to a dog’s tail?
WB Yeats, “The Tower”
While Webster was much obsessed with death
And saw the skull beneath the skin,
Yeats was obsessed with the aging process,
The hollow cheek that drank the wind.
Fastened to a dying animal, his soul
Sought solace in a Martello tower
Where he climbed its winding stair
To compose swan songs in his waning hours.
Retrospective poems, autobiographical,
That rehashed old loves and battles fought.
Attempting to come to terms at last
With the ravages that time had wrought.