“Why, what could she have done, being what she is?
Was there another Troy for her to burn?”

— W. B. Yeats, No Second Troy


Upon first impression he struck
her like a match… incendiary, consuming.

She was drawn yet cautious, having
been burned by several iced “lovers,”
who sought to conquer but not save.

From the tower she’d built to isolate
her passion from being besieged
recklessly, she focused her glass

…and toasted him from afar.


* — pyr (fire) + lysis (a loosening, setting free)

Written in response to Jane Dougherty’s, A Month with Yeats: Day Twenty Nine.  This quote was too good to resist!

Posted to dVerse Poets Pub Open Link Night.



53 thoughts on “Pyrolysis*

  1. Excellent, Charley! The word choices and line breaks are flawless. You set a recognizable scene with so much that is literary. I want more – write the rest of the story!
    The second stanza shows the vulnerable side of this woman who is looking for a hero. And I love that opener – struck her like a match. Fabulous write!


  2. This is really interesting, working from the quote of a great poet. I am not sure if your poem is playful or serious…maybe both, but I like it.


    • Thank you! The responses to this poem have been interesting, overwhelming, and deep in some cases. The Yeats quote begged me to write, and the result is ironic and slightly ambiguous. And, as you said, “fun.” I’m glad you enjoyed it!


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