“Words for Music Perhaps”“Crazy Jane Talks with the Bishop” by William Butler Yeats is a short, three stanza poem. Each stanza consists of six lines and there is an abcbdb rhyme pattern. The lines alternate between iambic tetrameter and trimeter. The poem is a conversation between two characters, a bishop and Crazy Jan who meet up on the road.Upon their meeting, the bishop tries to offer Crazy Jane some words of advice. He advises her to prepare herself for heaven by being pure and clean and resisting the sins of the flesh.
He notes that the body dies, but the soul goes on to “Live in a heavenly mansion” and by that same token, she should practice that on earth, not live “in some foul sty” as a pig would – eating, sleeping, mating all in the same. Crazy Jane says to the bishop that the flesh has needs, and one learns from acting on those. “Learned in bodily lowliness and in the heart’s pride” – Crazy Jane acknowledges to the bishop that she is an educated woman, but she has been educated through living life – she is older, as she has lost friends, but she knows much of love, something the bishop probably does not.She states metaphorically in the last stanza that nothing can be whole without love or having love and having it go sour.
Since Crazy Jane has lived life and has loved, she is whole.