William Butler Yeats wrote a bunch of Crazy Jane poems. Crazy Jane can always get away with expressing unorthodox wisdom, and say outrageous things, because she’s Crazy. Her antagonist is the Bishop, who represents conventional stuffy moralizing, and this bugs her so much, in fact it drives her Crazy.
In particular, one of these poems that has always fascinated and puzzled me is “Crazy Jane Talks with the Bishop”. It ends with a sort of Zen koan, a paradoxical statement.
How can something be whole as a result of being torn?
I have my own theory as to what she means by this, but I’d be interested in finding out what Dopers make of it.