That Crazed Girl

That Crazed Girl

A recollection of a girl with her “soul in division from itself.”  It is up to the reader to decide whether Yeats meant to say the girl is crazed in the sense of  grappling with madness, or of a crazed passion and absorption in her music—perhaps a different kind of ‘madness’ in itself.

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.’

By: William Butler Yeats