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A Poet to His Beloved: The Early Love Poems of W.B.Yeats

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The Tower (poetry; includes The Tower, Sailing to Byzantium, Leda and the Swan, Nineteen Hundred Nineteen, and Among School Children), Macmillan, 1928. Irish poets, learn your trade, sing whatever is well made, scorn the sort now growing up all out of shape from toe to top.”

The first stanza is a series of punchy declarations about a crisis of authority, almost as if Yeats were an op-ed writer in full thunder. The oracular second stanza asks why this is happening and imagines what might follow the phase of anarchy: the second coming will be a reversal of the first. Each time he was rejected and his heart was broken in 1903 when she agreed to marry another man. Gonne wed Major John McBride but their marriage was short lived. They had a son together but separated shortly after the birth. Stories of Red Hanrahan, The Secret Rose, Rosa Alchemica (fiction), A. H. Bullen, 1913, Macmillan, 1914. In this, one of his most oft-anthologised poems, Yeats describes his intention to go to Innisfree and build a small cabin of clay and wattles, to grow beans and keep bees for honey, and to live on his own there. Who among us, especially if we live in a town or city, hasn’t wished to leave the bustle of urban living behind in favour of a simpler existence?The Autobiography of William Butler Yeats, Consisting of "Reveries Over Childhood and Youth,""The Trembling of the Veil," and "Dramatis Personae," Macmillan, 1938, reprinted, 1987, published with Estrangement, The Death of Synge, and The Bounty of Sweden, as Autobiographies, Macmillan, 1955.

RELATED READ: The fascinating history of the Yeats family, revealed. 9. Destiny – Lady Jane Wilde Credit: commons.wikimedia.org In ‘These are the Clouds’, Yeats explores the relationship between the archaic and modern, highlighting some of the problems of modernity. The electronic text represents the edited text. Lines (or parts of them) reproduced in italics in the printed edition are tagged rend="ital". HyphenationYeats 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 century. His earliest volume of verse was published in 1889, and those slow paced and lyrical poems display debts to Edmund Spenser and Percy Bysshe Shelley, as well as to 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. The post-2016 turn to Yeats is no surprise, because the image of the centre not holding has long made the poem a touchstone for anxious centrists. Shortly before running for president in 1968, Robert F Kennedy warned: “Indeed, we seem to fulfil the vision of Yeats.” In 1979, Labour grandee Roy Jenkins quoted it at the climax of his celebrated Dimbleby lecture about “the radical centre”, a speech that paved the way for the launch of the SDP. Tratner, Michael, Modernism and Mass Politics: Joyce, Woolf, Eliot, Yeats, Stanford University Press, 1995. The Countess Kathleen and Various Legends and Lyrics (poetry and plays; includes The Countess Kathleen, play first produced in Dublin at Antient Concert Rooms, May 8, 1899), Roberts Brothers, 1892, title play revised and published separately as The Countess Kathleen, T. Fischer Unwin, 1912. In Greek mythology, Leda was a princess of Aetolia who became the wife of king Tyndareus of Sparta. Zeus, the king of the Gods, was attracted to her beauty. He took the guise of a swan and raped her on the same night she slept with her husband. Based on this myth, the poem by Yeats describes the rape of Leda by Zeus in the form of a swan. It is written in the form of a Petrarchan sonnet and combines psychological realism with a mystic vision. Leda and the Swan is one of the most famous poems of Yeats’s 1928 collection The Tower, which is one of the most celebrated and important literary works of the 20th century.

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