One of my favourite poems is this one by WB Yeats. I tried to memorise it, a line at a time before going to bed. This activity reminds me of school, where they used to make you learn and recite poems. I couldn’t do it then and I can’t do it now. But it’s a beautiful poem. It was brought back to mind when I saw an installation in the Serpentine Gallery in London, by a Brazilian artist called Lygia Pape. There are dozens of golden threads – ‘celestial shards’ – that appear and disappear as you move around with the light shining upon them. I don’t normally appreciate installations but this one was mesmeric.
Had I the heavens’ embroidered cloths,
Enwrought with golden and silver light,
The blue and the dim and the dark cloths
Of night and light and the half-light,
I would spread the cloths under your feet:
But I, being poor, have only my dreams;
I have spread my dreams under your feet;
Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.