In another Pendragon-related play, Gazebo, two friends, Margaret and Gretchen, with Margaret’s younger brother, Con, carry on conversations that took place between 1912 when the women were seventeen and 1938 when they are forty-three, but much of the play occurs in 1928 when the women were thirty-three and Con was twenty-seven. Nigro specifies that the actor playing Con should be no older than that and the women should be in their early thirties. In the darkness we hear a cello version of Faure’s “Sicilienne,” rain falling, and a distant storm. As in other Nigroscripts, characters sometimes talk to themselves, remembering images of past events, sometimes to each other, and sometimes to the audience. Gretchen begins the dialogue by speaking of storms, of being unable to sleep, of voices whispering in the gazebo, of something leering at her through rotten trelliswork, of “his hands.” Margaret matter-of-factly tells the audience that Gretchen has always been her best friend, that they have lived next to each other all their lives and married each other’s brothers. Gretchen speaks of headlights coming toward her in the rain, and Margaret says that Gretchen saved her from drowning at Grim Lake. Con speaks of driving in the rain with Violet and May and seeing someone by the side of the road. Margaret says that three people died in the crash. Gretchen tells us that Margaret had two brothers, Con, and the one she married. Margaret says that three witnesses swore there was a fourth person in the car before it crashed. Con and Gretchen begin talking about the voices Con hears whispering and which Gretchen can’t hear because, according to Con, she closes up and never listens. Margaret says that all the girls always loved Con. Gretchen tells Con to stop looking at her, that she doesn’t like it, and as they talk Margaret interjects reminiscences of giving Con baths when he was small and of how he like to fix clocks. She and Con then talk of clocks and time until Gretchen speaks again of the headlights. Gretchen tells Con that she has seen him at the lake with Glynis and Jason. Margaret then asks about her mother who lives with Gretchen and suggests that she and Gretchen could simply change houses, a suggestion that Gretchen rejects. Con wonders who his father might have been and tells Gretchen that their fathers knew each other out west, that his Dad came back with money and married the Potdorf girl. Then Gretchen’s Dad showed up, dirt poor, and was given a job as foreman of the cheese factory, and lived in the house next door that Con’s father built for him. Con says their parents had secrets and offers to share a secret with Gretchen, but she says she doesn’t have any secrets. He asks her why she married his brother, tells her that she is beautiful, and asks what she saw at the lake when she spied on them. She says she saw three naked people and adds that she hates the water. Margaret speaks of her husband Clyde who disappeared with Gretchen’s husband on a trip to Great Slave Lake. She says Gretchen’s brother Clyde and Jason Cornish and Jimmy Casey went to war but Con didn’t go because he had a bad heart. Gretchen says that Harry MacBeth arranged to have Con marry his daughter Glynis who loved Jason. She tells Con that he compulsively betrays people and Con says that she won’t let her husband touch her. As Margaret remembers practicing on the cello, Con reminds Gretchen that she used to babysit him. Margaret remarks that something we believe we hate turns out, after a time, to be something we absolutely cannot do without. Gretchen mentions the headlights again and Con, now the driver of the car, tells her to get in. Gretchen remembers blood on her dress, between her legs, something crawling out of her in the rain. Con, sitting next to Gretchen on the gazebo steps, says that she taught him more than Chinese Checkers. Margaret remembers the two fathers going up on the roof in a thunderstorm and being struck by lightning as they held on to a lightning rod they were installing. Gretchen speaks of finding her mother in red water in the bath and remembers seeing her brother kiss Margaret in the gazebo and being filled with fury and later pushing Margaret into the lake where she hit her head on a rock. Gretchen dove in and pulled Margaret out and revived her. She says Margaret didn’t remember what had happened but was never the same after her head injury, although her cello playing improved remarkably. Con and Gretchen then speak lines from the time of the car accident when Con pulled over to pick up Gretchen (apparently pregnant with his child). Gretchen was furious with Con and clawed his hands off the wheel of the car. Margaret speaks of a dream she has of driving late at night in a rainstorm and swerving to avoid two red eyes in the dark and then to avoid the oncoming car which spun round and crashed. She sees the two girls, Violet and May Pelly, and her brother Con, dead. She says when she can’t sleep she goes out to the ruined gazebo and plays the cello. Con kisses Gretchen “very tenderly” and Margaret begins to play Faure’s ” Sicilienne” as the lights fade and go out.
Tag: shorter plays
The Wind Among the Reeds
In The Wind Among the Reeds, two characters from the Pendragon cycle, Molly Rainey, 63, and her husband Cletis, 67, are having breakfast in the kitchen. It is summer and Cletis is talking to a parakeet in a bird cage, explaining to Molly that he is trying to teach the bird to talk. He asks if there is any meat loaf left and is told by Molly that what he ate was dog food, not meat loaf. Molly is bored and is worried about their son, Billy, who lives in a trailer, plays the tuba, and talks to his weiner dogs. Cletis defends Billy, suggesting that he may be a misunderstood genius, but Molly says Billy is a moron, that her life is a failure, and she wants a divorce. She starts taking clothes out of the dresser to put in a suitcase, saying that she needs some culture in her life and that Cletis has never taken her anywhere. Cletis reminds her that he took her to a vaudeville show at the Palace Theatre in Canton, and he goes on to describe a French performer who did a whole program of fart impressions, concluding by putting a tube up his ass, sticking on ocarina on the end of the tube and playing the 1812 Overture. When Molly says that she always wanted to be an opera singer, Cletis tells her that she sounds like a moose with his balls caught in a wood chopper. Molly closes the suitcase, leaves, then comes back, asking Cletis what he is going to do without her since he can’t see, drive, or cook. Cletis says he’ll be fine and wants to know what happened to set her off. She says that Lewis, her sister Lizzy’s husband, is going to die and then she asks Cletis if he tried to kiss her sister Jessie in the barn almost fifty years earlier. Cletis protests that they were all teenagers back then and wonders why Molly didn’t marry somebody else. She says that Lizzy and Lewis really love each other and that she is running away because she doesn’t want to watch Cletis get old and die. Cletis tells her that you can love something and stick with until one of you dies or you can run off and die alone. Molly starts unpacking her clothes and tells Cletis that maybe she’ll make meat loaf for lunch. Cletis starts talking to the bird again and the lights fade and go out.
Rasputin is a long one-act play for two characters, a girl, Anastasia, and Rasputin, “a tall, gaunt man with piercing eyes, long black hair and a black beard.” The unit set “surrounded by darkness” has a bed, a table, and some wooden chairs. Anastasia begins with a “once upon a time” story of a girl who is lost in a forest in the winter. A leaf tells her to go to the Czar, who looks very much like her father, and who orders the world to come alive. The girl wakes up and realizes she has been dreaming and is nearly covered with snow in the dark forest. From the darkness, the voice of Rasputin tells her that she must tell him her name, date of birth, place of residence, and names of family members. Anastasia keeps saying that she does not know, that she cannot remember. He tells her to close her eyes and asks her what she sees. She remembers riding through the woods on a wagon in the night with snow falling. She says she has sisters and a brother and that she comes from a palace where she was a Grand Duchess. Rasputin lights a lamp so that Anastasia can see him. He asks her if she is from Ekaterinburg, a name she refuses to say, but he tells her that if she will not speak her name she is reducing those who created her to nothing. She finally says her name and then the names of her sisters–Tatiana, Marie, and Olga–and her brother Aleksy. Rasputin says she remembers someone else, but Anastasia says she doesn’t want to remember him because he smells like death and is a horrible person. Rasputin says she lived in a brothel and her father was a pig-fancying moron. She says her father was Emperor of Russia and Rasputin asks her what she is doing in this shithole. He pours some vodka into a tin cup, drinks some, and offers the cup to her. She takes it and throws the vodka in his face. He wonders whether it would be kinder of him to help her remember or help her to forget. He says he can have intercourse with her whenever he wants but he prefers the challenge of seducing her. He says if she has just one drink of vodka he’ll tell her where her parents and siblings are. But when she takes the drink he says she must tell him where her family is or else kiss him. She finally says, “Ekaterinburg,” and he asks her if she remembers sitting in his lap as he told her stories. He repeats the “once upon a time” story which Anastasia said at the beginning of the play, with the variation that the leaf tells the girl to go to God. Rasputin says that her father was a very stupid man who sent thousands of soldiers out to be butchered and he is now in Ekaterinburg with the rest of his family, dead, covered with dirt and being eaten by worms. Anastasia describes how they were taken to a cellar and shot. She was hit and stabbed until she lost consciousness and thinks she must have died and is in hell. When Rasputin mentions the wagon she remembers a man telling her that he found her still alive as he was burying the corpses and took pity on her. She wonders why she didn’t die with the rest and Rasputin suggests that perhaps, as she was dying in the cellar, she imagined the woods, and the wagon, and the cottage, and him; that perhaps this is a vision she has just before her death. She asks which version is true–is this a vision or did she really escape? He says she must choose the role she will play–a madwoman who thinks she is the Grand Duchess Anastasia, a conniving Polish whore impersonating Anastasia, the Grand Duchess herself miraculously saved but driven mad by what happened, or the girl dying in the basement. When she says she is cold he puts his coat over her shoulders and she tells again the story of the girl lost in the dark forest with the variation that the leaf sends her to Death. She pauses, then says that her name means resurrection. Rasputin kisses her tenderly on the lips and as the light fades and goes out we hear the sound of the wind.
Drury Lane concerns two characters from the Pendragon cycle, James Rumpley, 40, and Jane Armitage, early 20s, on the stage of Garrick’s Drury Lane Theatre in the mid-eighteenth century, surrounded by darkness. Jane says she is tired of rehearsing and James says they must get it right or Garrick will dismiss them. He says that Garrick likes Jane and that she asked for his help. He wonders what she gave him in return, and when Jane says, “Nothing,” James, in a fury, grabs her arms and shouts, “WHAT DID YOU GIVE HIM IN RETURN?” After a slight pause, he lets her go and asks if “that” was too much. She says it’s always been too much because James has always been a victim of passions beyond his control. She says that Garrick might have saved him, that their child needed his help but that James preferred to turn thief because of pride, drink, and low company. She shouts that he has sacrificed his wife and child to his stupid, self-destructive pride. He agrees that what she says might be the truth but that it sounds too much like a play. When Jane says that the son is in America, James says that he doesn’t like the scene and wants to do something else. She says they cannot rewrite the scene but only play it. James wants to do the seduction scene and warns Jane of the dangers of a life in the theatre. He kisses her and says that they must not do the scene of his deflowering her. Jane says they have begun and might as well finish it. She wants James to deflower her again. He remembers that she said that she wanted to haunt the theatre when she died. He says all theatres are haunted and that “this is a play.” He says he was a carnival boy who became an actor and she was an innocent country girl and they made love on “this” stage one night. She got pregnant and he drank what money they had. When she asked Garrick for help he hated her for it and became a thief. He was caught and hanged as she watched with their son. Then she died and the boy went to America and they keep rehearsing the play of their lives again and again, forever. Jane says that she wanted to haunt the theatre when she died and he tells her that she is. She thinks it is a beautiful story and that they might make a play of it. James says, “We might. We have. We will.” She thinks their son will be an actor and that she will perhaps forgive James.
In Creatrix, two teen-age girls, Tiffany and Kimberly, in pajamas with their backs against the end of a bed, stare downstage into the eerie light of a tv set. We hear the tape they have been watching rewind as Tiffany says they have watched the movie one hundred and thirty-seven times. Kimberly says the movie makes her happier than anything in the world. Tiffany says that after you watch the movie so many times you feel as if you made it yourself. She says no one understands them and that the movie gives them the power to do unspeakable things to the people who order them around. The girls decide to become the girls in the movie and talk about fantasy lives, deciding that life would be simpler if their mothers were dead. They say they could put a brick in a stocking and beat Kimberly’s mother over the head with it. Kimberly thinks this a beautiful story, but Tiffany wants to do it “for real,” to make their own movie. Kimberly thinks a person would need to believe “very much” to make such a movie. Tiffany puts Kimberly’s hand on her heart and puts her hand on Kimberly’s heart, asking her if she can feel the “great creatrix of the universe throbbing and seething and writhing beneath our flesh?” Kimberly wonders where they can get a brick as the light fades and goes out.
Further Adventures of Tom and Huck
Further Adventures of Tom and Huck is set in the living room of Tom’s brownstone townhouse in New York City in 1876. Tom, very well-dressed, tells a shabbily-dressed Huck how glad he is to see him. Tom and Becky are married, have a cook, a nanny, a maid, and “a English coachman manservant flunky,” and Becky drinks a lot. Huck asks for a drink and Tom gives him some Scotch. Huck tries to drink it down but chokes and spits, saying that the liquor tastes like embalming fluid. Tom says he made a lot of money during the war. Huck was shot in the head, held as a prisoner, and has bad dreams. Tom tries to get Huck to remember a balloon ride they took years earlier to Europe but Huck denies that there ever was a balloon. Becky enters in a bathrobe and thinks that Huck is a bum. Tom says he has to go to the sausage factory to check on his “simple-minded half-brother Sid.” When Huck says he came to New York to kill Tom, Becky offers to pay him. She says Tom is a monster, a liar, and a cheat, obsessed with money. As Huck vacillates, Becky offer herself, twice, if Huck kills Tom slowly. She tries to get Huck’s pants off and they fall onto the sofa as Tom enters. Huck admits that he came to New York to kill Tom because Tom talked him into enlisting in the Confederate Army and then deserted the first time they heard enemy fire, leaving Huck to be wounded and put in a prison camp while Tom went north and got rich. Tom says that war is a great place to do business and that it’s the American way. Huck says that his best friend Jim is dead and, after Becky passes out on the sofa, tells Tom that Jim was killed by a gun that exploded in his face, a gun probably supplied by Tom. Tom says it was just “good old American business,” but Huck sits on the sofa and cries. Tom asks him if he remembers when they buried a marble in the hope of digging it up again to recover anything they had lost. He says that the spell didn’t work, but that he learned that superstition and religion were bullshit, although he still has the notion that somewhere, perhaps in an attic, is everything he has ever lost. He says that what he misses most is going fishing with Huck. He wishes his kids were more like Huck and says they are more like Sid. Becky lifts her head to say they are Sid’s kids, not Tom’s. Furious, Tom shakes her and starts strangling her but Huck pulls him off and he and Tom fall onto the floor. Tom says that the country is all about money and that his life isn’t worth “a mouthful of ashes.” Becky comes back with a large carving knife and chases Tom around the sofa, slashing at him. Huck tries to intervene; Becky trips, and plunges the knife into Huck’s chest, killing him. Tom assures Becky that no one is going to know what happened, that Huck is a stranger, a nobody, and they’re going to roll him up in a rug and run him through the sausage machine. The lights fade as Becky sits beside Tom, who has Huck’s head in his lap, crying as he says that he and Huck had some exciting adventures in that balloon, some good times.
Letters from Quebec to Providence in the Rain
The setting for the four-character (2m, 2w) one-act Letters from Quebec to Providence in the Rain represents two old houses, one in Quebec and one in Providence, with some furniture being part of both. We hear whippoorwills in the darkness and then see Petrus taking some letters from an old book, Drago’s Occult Notebooks, that he had bought that morning from a girl selling books by the river. Vanessa questions him about his motives, and Petrus tells her that the letters are written to someone named Vanessa by a Jonathan and were mailed from Quebec to Providence. Lights come up on Jonathan speaking, not writing, a letter to Vanessa about moving into a house in Quebec. Vanessa tells Petrus that she had a brother named Jonathan, now dead. Jonathan speaks of hearing the sounds of a girl talking to herself in the bath and lights come up on Marianne in the tub, speaking in the third person of Vanessa meeting her roommate, Marianne, at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island. As Petrus and Vanessa continue their conversation about Vanessa’s brother, Jonathan describes how he went up the stairs to the bath and found the water running and the tub about to overflow, but “nobody was there.” Marianne speaks to Petrus, calling him a “wicked boy,” and tells him to close the door because he’s letting in goblins. She then continues her narration of Vanessa bringing her roommate Marianne home to Quebec to meet Vanessa’s brother Jonathan who fell hopelessly in love with her. Vanessa tells Petrus that she went to Brown University because she was fascinated by the writer H. P. Lovecraft who lived in Providence. She says she brought her roommate Marianne home with her over Christmas break and corroborates what Marianne said earlier about Jonathan falling in love with her. Marianne says she used to walk by Lovecraft’s house at night, and Jonathan, still speaking a letter, asks Vanessa if Marianne ever speaks of him. Marianne asks if Petrus is out there on the staircase. Vanessa narrates an idea for a story about a man who buys a book from a girl by a river and finds some old letters inside. Marianne says that Jonathan wrote her hundreds of love letters but she never wrote back. Petrus says that there is a photograph in the book with “From Marianne, With Love” on the back. He asks Vanessa if she knows the girl in the photograph and Vanessa says she can’t be certain, that the time she spent in the mental asylum with the drugs and shock treatments have addled her memory. Marianne tells Vanessa (in an earlier time) that she has met “a most wonderful young man” named Petrus Van Hoek, an artist who studies the anatomies of young women and is taking photographs of her in the bath. Vanessa (in a later time) tells Petrus that she was jealous and confronted Marianne while she was in the bathtub. Jonathan says that he climbed the stairs to the bathroom and found Marianne lying dead in the tub. Vanessa says that “the murderess” was hiding behind the door and hit the intruder in the head with the bulldog door stop, realizing later that it was her brother who has never been right in the head since. Vanessa says that “she” began receiving letters from Quebec, written by her brother, and she goes back to confront him but ends up wandering the streets of Quebec thinking it is Providence. Jonathan says he goes to the house, finds Drago’s book, and sees that the name on the inside front cover is Petrus Van Hoek. Vanessa tells Petrus that he was Marianne’s lover; she wonders why he came to read to her in the hospital and then took her into his home. He says she knows why and that it is time for her bath. The lights fade and we hear whippoorwills in the darkness.
A Legacy for the Mad
A man, Rupert, and a woman, Senta, sitting on wooden chairs inside a room lit by moonlight, speaking of themselves and of each other in the third person, recall, in A Legacy for the Mad, their on-again off-again affair, a recollection that grows increasingly bizarre. Rupert says that her apartment smelled sometimes of cigars and that he could smell her perfume in his room months after she had gone. He speaks of making love with her against a wall of the zoo, the “greatest experience of his life,” but says that she then refused to return his phone calls for months. Senta shifts to the first person, saying, “I was in Spain. . . .” When he says that as a boy he gathered mushrooms his mother would cook and serve with lamb and green jello, Senta says that her husband loved mushrooms. Rupert says that “after some years” he felt that she trusted him enough to share her memories, although he was never certain whether she was inventing them. One night she took his hand and told him how her husband had died when a wagon turned over and he struck his head on a stone. She says that he left all his money to an insane asylum, with nothing for her or the children. When Rupert, now speaking directly to her, asks about children, she says she doesn’t have any, and Rupert says he doesn’t believe anything she’s said. Senta says her husband was a Swedish ventriloquist who once made love to her at the zoo, “the greatest experience” of her life. Rupert says he loves her. She says that the owls have come to devour them, and Rupert, reverting to the third person, hopes that the zookeepers will be bringing green jello for lunch.
The Passion of Merlin and Vivien in the Forest of Broceliande
The Passion of Merlin and Vivien in the Forest of Broceliande is a short one-act for a man and a woman. Merlin is not “incredibly ancient” but he is considerably older than Vivien. We hear the sound of birds and thunder and see leaf shadows as the lights come up on a moss-covered tree stump. Merlin sits on the stump and takes a drink from a small flask that Vivien offers. He says he has taught her everything he knows. She replies that he has made her laugh a thousand times and never took advantage of her. She says she wants to give him something and Merlin notices that his hands feel like claws and his heels seem rooted to the ground. She says the potion is beginning to work and he is turning into a tree. Merlin feels betrayed, but she says that he taught her that trees were holy things and that she needs to be by herself. Merlin’s arms begin twisting upwards, “palms up, fingers spread like twigs.” She kisses him and puts the locket he gave her for protection on his upturned claw-like hand. She leaves and we hear the birds and the rain in the darkness after Merlin says how proud of her he is.
What Shall I Do for Pretty Girls?
What Shall I Do for Pretty Girls? is a long one-act play in 15 scenes for four characters–William Butler Yeats, Maud Gonne, Iseult (her daughter), and Georgie, Yeats’ wife. A simple unit set represents different locations in France and London from 1917 to 1938. We hear the ocean and the sounds of many birds as the lights come up on Maud (late 40s) and Yeats (early 50s) in 1917 on the Normandy coast. The noise of her birds makes it difficult for them to hear what the other is saying until Yeats closes the door. Maud wonders if Yeats has come to ask her again to marry him, since her husband has recently died. She says she is worried about her daughter and thinks that Yeats should propose to her. Yeats says that Iseult asked him to visit, but Maud wants him to convince Iseult to come to Ireland with her to escape the war. Maud is terrified that her daughter will be killed before she has had a chance to live.
The lights fade and come up on Yeats and Iseult walking on the beach. She has overheard at least part of his conversation with her mother and asks if Yeats would like to kiss her and ask her to marry him. He does; she refuses. Yeats says he doesn’t want to be alone anymore and wants children. The lights fade on them and come up on Iseult and Maud in the house as Maud asks her if she had a nice walk with Yeats. She tells her daughter that he deserves a bit of happiness before he’s too old to enjoy it. Iseult tells her mother that she is moving to London, and the scene shifts to a tea shop in London as Iseult tells Yeats that she can’t marry him. He says that he has found someone named Georgie Hyde-Lees that he may ask to marry him.
In darkness we hear the sounds of a violent thunderstorm as lights come up on Georgie and Yeats on their honeymoon. Yeats is upset because he feels he has betrayed Maud, Iseult, and her. Georgie sits at a desk with pencil and paper and says that the pencil is automatically writing, that she has no control over it. Fascinated, Yeats reads what has been written and puts other pieces of paper under her hand, an event he describes to Maud in the next scene, telling her that every night they receive “page after page of complex messages from a bewildering variety of entities in the spirit world.” He says that when Georgie’s hand cramps the spirit voices talk in her sleep, giving him precise and detailed instructions about how to give his wife pleasure in bed.
In the next scene, Georgie is lying in bed in a trance, speaking to Yeats in “a strange, unearthly but somewhat dignified voice” about letting Iseult work out her own destiny. He follows the spirit voice’s instructions to get his wife some tea and then rub her feet. When he leaves, Georgie sits up in bed and says, “Shit and onions!” Then, in the eighth scene, Iseult and Georgie are having lunch in the tea shop and Georgie tells her that the spirits are concerned about Yeats spending so much time tormenting himself about Iseult. Georgie offers to introduce Iseult to one or two eligible young men. Iseult says that Georgie’s spirits are a “great load of ballocks” and calls her a charlatan. Georgie says that she and Yeats are moving to Ireland and that she is pregnant.
The scene changes to Maud’s house in Ireland where Maud and Iseult have come in out of the rain, Maud having escaped from an English prison. Yeats tells Maud that she can’t stay in her own house because Georgie is six months pregnant and is sick with pneumonia. He pleads with her to go, saying that he is terrified his wife will lose the baby. Maud stomps out into the rain and Iseult kisses Yeats, saying she wishes the child were hers. The scene ends as Georgie shouts at Yeats to close the door.
Yeats, now a father, is walking in a park in London with Iseult, cautioning her about her friendship with Ezra Pound. She says she has had sexual intercourse with Pound but that it should have been Yeats. She asks him to let her find her own happiness, or unhappiness. He says he reserves the right to worry. The lights fade on them and come up on Maud visiting Yeats and Georgie, complaining that Iseult has married a young man who gets drunk and beats her, is unfaithful to her, and abuses and humiliates her in public. Maud wants Yeats to convince Iseult to leave her husband. Georgie agrees and Yeats leaves. In the next scene Iseult tells him that she is pregnant and he insists that she leave with him.
Lights come up on Maud in prison, an effect created by the shadows of bars on the floor. We hear a cell door slamming shut as Yeats walks into the light and tells her that he is angry that the loveliest woman he ever knew “has turned herself into a bitter old crone for the sake of politics.” She refuses to let him get her out of jail, but asks that he take Iseult (who lost her baby) and her son. Iseult appears, “looking haggard,” and Maud orders her to go with Yeats. After the light fades on them we hear the sound of a ticking clock and Yeats tells Georgie that he has been getting Iseult out of prison. Georgie chides him for spending time with a “damned farting swami” and says that he never loved her. He says that they have their two children and she says that he has his “damned stupid metaphors for poetry.”
The last scene takes place in a farmhouse (created by the sound of chickens) in the late 1930s. Iseult tells Yeats that he married exactly the right woman but that she would run off with him to France if he wanted. Maud comes on to ask Yeats if he is going to propose to her one last time. Iseult tells Yeats that “only the poets win.” She and her mother sit on a bench on either side of Yeats, each taking one of his hands. Iseult wonders if they have gotten everything wrong, and Yeats says that they could have done nothing else, that, if one is lucky, one loves, and “that’s all there is to be said about it.”