An aged man is but a paltry thing,
A tattered coat upon a stick, unless
Soul clap its hands and sing, and louder sing
For every tatter in its mortal dress,
Nor is there singing school but studying
Monuments of its own magnificence;
And therefore I have sailed the seas and come
To the holy city of Byzantium.
I've continued my reading of this Yeats poem. One article describes it as a metaphorical journey to a land of one vast eternal design in search of a song for the soul, not the body, I like that. I feel the part about the outward tatters too. As my outer self becomes increasingly so, and is thus often ignored and devalued by those around me, my inner self is still quite capable at times of magnificent singing and clapping.
This is why I love the Internet! While searching around for various analyses of the text, I came across this AMAZING online exhibition by The National Library of Ireland.
Poetry. Knitting patterns. The world wide web is a nerdy paradise far beyond the scope of social networking.