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Selected Poems And Four Plays by William…

Selected Poems And Four Plays (edition 1996)

by William Butler Yeats

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Title:Selected Poems And Four Plays
Authors:William Butler Yeats
Info:Scribner (1996), Edition: 4th, Paperback
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Selected Poems And Four Plays by William Butler Yeats



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This collection was my introduction to Yeats, the Irish author of gorgeous and powerful verse that has deeply moved me for two decades. I'm forever grateful my girlfriend (now my wife) bought it for me. ( )
  ukforever | Dec 5, 2016 |
I have always been more acquainted with unorthodox and “avant-garde” literature. Lately I have been going back and reading some of the more traditional classics. I must say, at first I wanted to pull my eyes out while reading Yeats. He definitely has an unhealthy obsession with swift and although Keats, who as a poet is good, I feel he draws too much in his early writings from the deficient pathos I find in his works. Therefore as a self proclaimed “neo-romantic” I struggled through his early writings.

Nevertheless his later works were superb! The hyperbolic romantic idealization wanes towards what the editor rightly describes as his writing of the soul through the body. In this vein I feel he redeems his prior convictions and breaks free from stylistic constraints as tactile emotions comingle with his more spiritual convictions. One must concede to him though an unrelenting optimism through the times of strife, however disillusioned I may feel it to be, as he continued his career.
( )
  PhilSroka | Apr 12, 2016 |
Yeats is the best! He is super sentimental, like myself. ( )
  drmarymccormack | Jul 20, 2011 |
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0684826461, Paperback)

William Butler Yeats, whom many consider this century's greatest poet, began as a bard of the Celtic Twilight, reviving legends and Rosicrucian symbols. By the early 1900s, however, he was moving away from plush romanticism, his verse morphing from the incantatory rhythms of "I will arise and go now, and go to Innisfree" into lyrics "as cold and passionate as the dawn." At every stage, however, Yeats plays a multiplicity of poetic roles. There is the romantic lover of "When You Are Old" and "A Poet to His Beloved" ("I bring you with reverent Hands / The books of my numberless dreams..."). And there are the far more bitter celebrations of Maud Gonne, who never accepted his love and engaged in too much politicking for his taste: "Why should I blame her that she filled my days / With misery, or that she would of late / Have taught to ignorant men most violent ways, / Or hurled the little streets upon the great, / Had they but courage equal to desire?" There is also the poet of conscience--and confrontation. His 1931 "Remorse for Intemperate Speech" ends: "Out of Ireland have we come. / Great hatred, little room, / Maimed us at the start. / I carried from my mother's womb / A fanatic heart."

Yeats was to explore several more sides of himself, and of Ireland, before his Last Poems of 1938-39. Many are difficult, some snobbish, others occult and spiritualist. As Brendan Kennelly writes, Yeats "produces both poppycock and sublimity in verse, sometimes closely together." On the other hand, many prophetic masterworks are poppycock-free--for example, "The Second Coming" ("Turning and turning in the widening gyre / The falcon cannot hear the falconer; / Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold; / Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world...") and such inquiries into inspiration as "Among School Children" ("O body swayed to music, O brightening glance, How can we know the dancer from the dance?"). And at his best, Yeats extends the meaning of love poetry beyond the obviously romantic: love becomes a revolutionary emotion, attaching the poet to friends, history, and the passionate life of the mind.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 17:57:59 -0400)

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