My Love Returned in Summertime: November Yeats Challenge

Jane Dougherty is doing a NOT-NaNoWriMo challenge. It’s the opposite, in fact–a join in, if you wish, whenever you wish, to write a poem based on a line or snippet from Yeats that she will supply every day in November. You can find today’s Yeats’ Challenge here. This is Day One. The quote is:

“they will ride the North when the ger-eagle flies,

With heavy whitening wings, and a heart fallen cold:” —W. B. Yeats


My love returned in summertime

from far beyond the sea

through heathered hills we roamed and climbed

when he returned to me


We were together from summer to fall

when he returned from the far off sea

then he was killed by churchyard wall

after he returned to me


Another man had sought my favor

while my love was beyond the sea

but from my love I’ve never wavered

and he returned to me


And now my heart has fallen cold

like the depths of the deepest sea

he was ever fearless, wild, and bold

and still he returns to me


At night, I hear him riding north,

coming homing to me

his spirit gallops on ghostly horse

he’s coming home to me


Franciszek Żmurko, “In Rapture,” [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons


23 thoughts on “My Love Returned in Summertime: November Yeats Challenge

  1. Whoa. I love your poems, but this one right now is one of my favorites. Of course, I’m a romantic at heart (and soul and body), so I was feeling the woman’s despair and pain through your words. Stunning.

  2. This was rhythmic in its word patterns which made me think of a heart beating and quickening as the loved one comes closer. I hadn’t thought of arriving on a horse 🏇, but like the image of this instead of coming off a ship. Much more dramatic, Merril.
    ps. The last section of your poem touched me with the ghostly image of her love returning in her thoughts and dreams.
    Silly computer (“spellcheck”) didn’t catch the “coming homing” in your last few verses. Annoying of me, sorry. . . xo 💮

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