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Alan’s story: ‘He Wishes for the Cloths of Heaven’ Saturday, 9 January 2010

Posted by carryapoem in Stories.

I think this is the most amazing poem. I love how it starts with the list of the most beautiful, mystical things that he would throw at the feet of his beloved to show the depth of his love, but then he turns it all on its head and shows how much more powerful it is to just say that my love is not about material things, my love for you is about my very soul. I also like the fact that it’s a little emotionally manipulative: I love you more than I can say, but don’t you hurt me! I guess it just reminds me of the wobbliness and the craziness of being in love. I read it at my wedding, that’s how much I like it.



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.
by William Butler Yeats

Alan Cumming is an actor, originally from Carnoustie. He has appeared in countless plays, films and TV shows, and was the voice of Persnikitty in the movie Garfield.


1. cath cavanagh - Thursday, 28 January 2010

PS I’ve just checked and it’s Hilaire Belloc’s poem….sorry Hilaire Belloc! And all these years I gave Walter the credit..

2. cath cavanagh - Thursday, 28 January 2010

Oh Alan…me too! This is my most favourite. ‘Tread softly because you tread on my dreams’ has become my life motto. This one I carry in my heart. The peom I carry in my head is The Vulture by Walter De La Mare. I learnt it at school. Recited it in a competition and it has clung on to me ever since! Cath.

3. Val - Tuesday, 12 January 2010

. . this poem is so magical and so beautiful . . . I love it . . .

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