William Butler Yeats poems

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William Butler Yeats 13 June 1865 28 January, William Butler Yeats was an Irish poet and playwright and one of the foremost. figures of 20th century literature A pillar of both the Irish and British literary. establishments in his later years he served as an Irish Senator for two terms. Yeats was a driving force behind the Irish Literary Revival and along with Lady. Gregory Edward Martyn and others founded the Abbey Theatre where he. served as its chief during its early years In 1923 he was awarded the Nobel Prize. in Literature as the first Irishman so honoured for what the Nobel Committee. described as inspired poetry which in a highly artistic form gives expression to. the spirit of a whole nation Yeats is generally considered one of the few writers. who completed their greatest works after being awarded the Nobel Prize such. works include The Tower 1928 and The Winding Stair and Other Poems 1929. Yeats was a very good friend of Indian Bengali poet Nobel laureate Rabindranath. Yeats was born and educated in Dublin but spent his childhood in County Sligo. He studied poetry in his youth and from an early age was fascinated by both Irish. legends and the occult Those topics feature in the first phase of his work which. lasted roughly until the turn of the 20th century His earliest volume of verse was. published in 1889 and those slow paced and lyrical poems display debts to. Edmund Spenser Percy Bysshe Shelley and the Pre Raphaelite poets From. 1900 Yeats poetry grew more physical and realistic He largely renounced the. transcendental beliefs of his youth though he remained preoccupied with. physical and spiritual masks as well as with cyclical theories of life. b Early Years b, An Anglo Irishman William Butler Yeats was born in Sandymount County. Dublin Ireland His father John Butler Yeats 1839 1922 was a descendant of. Jervis Yeats a Williamite soldier and linen merchant who died in 1712 Jervis. grandson Benjamin married Mary Butler daughter of a landed family in County. Kildare At the time of his marriage John Yeats was studying law but abandoned. his studies to study art at Heatherley s Art School in London His mother Susan. Mary Pollexfen came from a wealthy merchant family in the county town Sligo. County Sligo who owned a milling and shipping business Soon after William s. birth the family relocated to the Pollexfen home at Merville Sligo to stay with her. www PoemHunter com The World s Poetry Archive 1, extended family and the young poet came to think of the area as his childhood. and spiritual home Its landscape became over time both literally and. symbolically his country of the heart The Butler Yeats family were highly. artistic his brother Jack became an esteemed painter while his sisters Elizabeth. and Susan Mary known to family and friends as Lollie and Lily became involved. in the Arts and Crafts Movement, Yeats grew up as a member of the former Protestant Ascendancy at the time. undergoing a crisis of identity While his family was broadly supportive of the. changes Ireland was experiencing the nationalist revival of the late 19th century. directly disadvantaged his heritage and informed his outlook for the remainder. of his life In 1997 his biographer R F Foster observed that Napoleon s dictum. that to understand the man you have to know what was happening in the world. when he was twenty is manifestly true of W B Y Yeats childhood and young. adulthood were shadowed by the power shift away from the minority Protestant. Ascendancy The 1880s saw the rise of Parnell and the Home rule movement the. 1890s saw the momentum of nationalism while the Catholics became prominent. around the turn of the century These developments were to have a profound. effect on his poetry and his subsequent explorations of Irish identity had a. significant influence on the creation of his country s biography. In 1867 the family moved to England to aid their father John to further his. career as an artist At first the Yeats children were educated at home Their. mother entertained them with stories and Irish folktales John provided an erratic. education in geography and chemistry and took William on natural history. explorations of the nearby Slough countryside On 26 January 1877 the young. poet entered the Godolphin school which he attended for four years He did not. distinguish himself academically and an early school report describes his. performance as only fair Perhaps better in Latin than in any other subject Very. poor in spelling Though he had difficulty with mathematics and languages. possibly because Yeats was tone deaf he was fascinated by biology and. zoology For financial reasons the family returned to Dublin toward the end of. 1880 living at first in the suburb of Harold s Cross and later in the suburb of. Howth In October 1881 Yeats resumed his education at Dublin s Erasmus Smith. High School His father s studio was located nearby and William spent a great. deal of time there and met many of the city s artists and writers It was during. this period that he started writing poetry and in 1885 Yeats first poems as. well as an essay entitled The Poetry of Sir Samuel Ferguson were published in. the Dublin University Review Between 1884 and 1886 William attended the. Metropolitan School of Art now the National College of Art and Design in. Thomas Street His first known works were written when he was seventeen and. included a poem heavily influenced by Percy Bysshe Shelley that describes a. www PoemHunter com The World s Poetry Archive 2, magician who set up a throne in central Asia Other pieces from this period.
include a draft of a play about a Bishop a monk and a woman accused of. paganism by local shepherds as well as love poems and narrative lyrics on. medieval German knights The early works were both conventional and. according to the critic Charles Johnston utterly unIrish seeming to come out. of a vast murmurous gloom of dreams Although Yeats early works drew. heavily on Shelley Edmund Spenser and on the diction and colouring of pre. Raphaelite verse he soon turned to Irish mythology and folklore and the writings. of William Blake In later life Yeats paid tribute to Blake by describing him as. one of the great artificers of God who uttered great truths to a little clan In. 1891 Yeats published John Sherman and Dhoya one a novella the other a. story The two were re published together in 1990 by The Lilliput Press in Dublin. b Young Poet b, The family returned to London in 1887 In 1890 Yeats co founded the Rhymers. Club with Ernest Rhys a group of London based poets who met regularly in a. Fleet Street tavern to recite their verse The collective later became known as the. Tragic Generation and published two anthologies first in 1892 and again in. 1894 He collaborated with Edwin Ellis on the first complete edition of William. Blake s works in the process rediscovering a forgotten poem Vala or the Four. Zoas In a late essay on Shelley Yeats wrote I have re read Prometheus. Unbound and it seems to me to have an even more certain place than I had. thought among the sacred books of the world, Yeats had a life long interest in mysticism spiritualism occultism and astrology. He read extensively on the subjects throughout his life became a member of the. paranormal research organisation The Ghost Club in 1911 and was especially. influenced by the writings of Emanuel Swedenborg As early as 1892 he wrote. If I had not made magic my constant study I could not have written a single. word of my Blake book nor would The Countess Kathleen ever have come to. exist The mystical life is the centre of all that I do and all that I think and all that. I write His mystical interests also inspired by a study of Hinduism under the. Theosophist Mohini Chatterjee and the occult formed much of the basis of his. late poetry However some critics have dismissed these influences as lacking in. intellectual credibility, In particular W H Auden criticised this aspect of Yeats work as the deplorable. spectacle of a grown man occupied with the mumbo jumbo of magic and the. nonsense of India, His first significant poem was The Isle of Statues a fantasy work that took. www PoemHunter com The World s Poetry Archive 3, Edmund Spenser for its poetic model The piece appeared in Dublin University.
Review but has not since been republished His first solo publication was the. pamphlet Mosada A Dramatic Poem 1886 which comprised a print run of 100. copies paid for by his father This was followed by the collection The Wanderings. of Oisin and Other Poems 1889 which arranged a series of verse that dated as. far back as the mid 1880s The long title poem contains in the words of his. biographer R F Foster obscure Gaelic names striking repetitions and an. unremitting rhythm subtly varied as the poem proceeded through its three. We rode in sorrow with strong hounds three,Bran Sgeolan and Lomair. On a morning misty and mild and fair,The mist drops hung on the fragrant trees. And in the blossoms hung the bees,We rode in sadness above Lough Lean. For our best were dead on Gavra s green, The Wanderings of Oisin is based on the lyrics of the Fenian Cycle of Irish. mythology and displays the influence of both Sir Samuel Ferguson and the Pre. Raphaelite poets The poem took two years to complete and was one of the few. works from this period that he did not disown in his maturity Oisin introduces. what was to become one of his most important themes the appeal of the life of. contemplation over the appeal of the life of action Following the work Yeats. never again attempted another long poem His other early poems which are. meditations on the themes of love or mystical and esoteric subjects include. Poems 1895 The Secret Rose 1897 and The Wind Among the Reeds 1899. During 1885 Yeats was involved in the formation of the Dublin Hermetic Order. The society held its first meeting on 16 June with Yeats acting as its chairman. The same year the Dublin Theosophical lodge was opened in conjunction with. Brahmin Mohini Chatterjee who travelled from the Theosophical Society in. London to lecture Yeats attended his first s ance the following year He later. became heavily involved with the Theosophical Society and with hermeticism. particularly with the eclectic Rosicrucianism of the Golden Dawn During s ances. held from 1912 a spirit calling itself Leo Africanus apparently claimed it was. Yeats Daemon or anti self inspiring some of the speculations in Per Amica. Silentia Lunae He was admitted into the Golden Dawn in March 1890 and took. the magical motto Daemon est Deus inversus translated as Devil is God. inverted or A demon is a god reflected He was an active recruiter for the sect s. Isis Urania temple and brought in his uncle George Pollexfen Maud Gonne and. Florence Farr Although he reserved a distaste for abstract and dogmatic religions. www PoemHunter com The World s Poetry Archive 4, founded around personality cults he was attracted to the type of people he met.
at the Golden Dawn He was involved in the Order s power struggles both with. Farr and Macgregor Mathers but was most notably involved when Mathers sent. Aleister Crowley to repossess Golden Dawn paraphernalia during the Battle of. Blythe Road After the Golden Dawn ceased and splintered into various. offshoots Yeats remained with the Stella Matutina until 1921. b Maud Gonne b, In 1889 Yeats met Maud Gonne then a 23 year old heiress and ardent. Nationalist Gonne was eighteen months younger than Yeats and later claimed. she met the poet as a paint stained art student Gonne had admired The Isle. of Statues and sought out his acquaintance Yeats developed an obsessive. infatuation with her beauty and outspoken manner and she was to have a. significant and lasting effect on his poetry and his life thereafter. In later years he admitted it seems to me that she Gonne brought into my life. those days for as yet I saw only what lay upon the surface the middle of the. tint a sound as of a Burmese gong an over powering tumult that had yet many. pleasant secondary notes Yeats love initially remained unrequited in part due. to his reluctance to participate in her nationalist activism. His only other love affair during this period was with Olivia Shakespear whom he. had first met in 1896 and parted with one year later In 1891 he visited Gonne. in Ireland and proposed marriage but was rejected He later admitted that from. that point the troubling of my life began Yeats proposed to Gonne three more. times in 1899 1900 and 1901 She refused each proposal and in 1903 to his. horror married the Irish nationalist Major John MacBride. There were two main reasons why Yeats was so horrified To lose his muse to. another made him look silly before the public Yeats naturally hated MacBride. and continually sought to deride and demean him both in his letters and his. poetry The second reason Yeats was horrified was linked to the fact of Maud s. conversion to Catholicism which Yeats despised He thought his muse would. come under the influence of the priests and do their bidding The marriage as. forecast by both their sets of friends and relations was an early disaster This. pleased Yeats as Maud began to visit him in London After the birth of her son. Se n MacBride in 1904 she and MacBride agreed to end the marriage although. they were unable to agree on the child s welfare Despite the use of. intermediaries a divorce case ensued in Paris in 1905 Maud made a series of. William Butler Yeats poems Publication Date 2012 Publisher Poemhunter com The World s Poetry Archive William Butler Yeats 13 June 1865 28 January 1939 William Butler Yeats was an Irish poet and playwright and one of the foremost figures of 20th century literature A pillar of both the Irish and British literary establishments in his later years he served as an Irish Senator for

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