William Butler Yeats, “Song of Wandering Aengus” / Trina Schart Hyman for Cricket Magazine

yeats hyman

This is my fourth and final post in honor of William B. Yeats’s 150-year anniversary. I’m backtracking all the way to my initial encounter with Yeats’s poetry.

Cricket magazine published “The Song of Wandering Aengus” in its September 1974 issue, as a two-page spread with an illustration by Trina Schart Hyman (1939-2004).

There’s so much I could write about Cricket‘s influence on me, and about Hyman’s art, but I’ll just share this image with you (thanks to Katie Bee on Pinterest).


Here is the poem (first published in 1899) as text:

I went out to the hazel wood,
Because a fire was in my head,
And cut and peeled a hazel wand,
And hooked a berry to a thread;
And when white moths were on the wing,
And moth-like stars were flickering out,
I dropped the berry in a stream

And caught a little silver trout.

When I had laid it on the floor
I went to blow the fire a-flame,
But something rustled on the floor,
And someone called me by my name:
It had become a glimmering girl
With apple blossom in her hair
Who called me by my name and ran

And faded through the brightening air.

Though I am old with wandering
Through hollow lands and hilly lands,
I will find out where she has gone,
And kiss her lips and take her hands;
And walk among long dappled grass,
And pluck till time and times are done,
The silver apples of the moon,

The golden apples of the sun.

(As a child, I was entranced by the illustration; later, I puzzled over the poem enough times to memorize it. Now it makes me cry every time I read it.)


5 thoughts on “William Butler Yeats, “Song of Wandering Aengus” / Trina Schart Hyman for Cricket Magazine

    1. Cricket was everything to me during my grade school years! I need to look back at a few issues. I’m so impressed, in retrospect, that they shared such high-quality writing with young children and gave those children credit for enjoying and absorbing literature at that early age. So non-condescending!

  1. Jessica, just came across this. Found this issue in 75; it was my first encounter with Trina, Cricket and Yeats –and a palpable hit on all three fronts. Still brings tears to my eyes, too…

  2. Thank you for posting this!! I didn’t even realize I remembered this poem until I heard it recited on a Netflix series and realized I knew all the words. It was like a flashback and I realized I knew it from Cricket and even had a vague memory of the illustration. When I searched the poem title and “Cricket magazine” and your post came up, it took my breath away. Your description of how you felt about the illustration and poem as a child matches my feelings perfectly.

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