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Collected Poems by W. B. Yeats

Collected Poems (1974)

by W. B. Yeats

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3,173221,765 (4.38)43
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    Praises and Dispraises by Terrence Des Pres (DromJohn)
    DromJohn: Two chapters in Praises puts Yeats work in context with Irish politics and the bardic tradition: Yeats and the Rat-Rhymers; and Yeats and Hysterica Passio.

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Showing 1-5 of 22 (next | show all)
Beautiful edition of my favorite poet. It's missing the added poems of W.B. Yeats The Poems, so I guess I'm keeping that hefty volume too. This one features illustrations by his brother, which are quite fine. ( )
  unclebob53703 | Dec 13, 2016 |
The best of the best. ( )
  ChrisNewton | Mar 18, 2016 |
I have given hourlong recitations of Yeats's poems, among the easiest to recall in English; for example, his tetrameters in the late "Under Ben Bulben" which contains his epitaph. I defy you to say this aloud three times without knowing most of it by heart: "Whether man die in his bed,/ Or the rifle knocks him dead,/ A brief parting from those dear/ Is the worst man has to fear." And his own epitaph is memorable, "Cast a cold eye/ On life, on death/ Horseman, pass by!" It is anti-conventional, since most epitaphs were written by clergy to scare the readers back to church, like this one in Pittsfield, MA: "Corruption, earth and worms/ Shall but refine this flesh..." etc. I seriously doubt the interred was consulted about that one. Yeats counters, look at this grave, and fogggetaboutit, Pass by!
By memory I still have "When you are old," his adaptation of Ronsard, "Lake Isle of Innisfree," so imitative of the water lapping the shores, in its medial caesuras, "I hear lake water lapping...Though I stand on the roadway..I shall arise and go now..." And so interesting that WBY first had a truism, "There noon is all a glimmer, and midnight a purple glow," which he reversed to the memorable, "There midnight's all a glimmer, and noon has a purple glow..." Ahh... a useful trick for writers. (My Ph.D. advisor Leonard Unger noted the influence of Meredith on Innisfree.) "The Second Coming," whose opening I said in my flight fears of landing. The problem in reciting that poem is "The worst are full of passionate intensity." I had to reduce the intensity of my aloudreading. "Sailing to Byzantium," and ohers.
I have also set to music seven of Yeats' poems, including "Brown Penny," "Lullaby," "Her Anxiety," and even "Crazy Jane talks to the Bishop." Some of these tunes, played decades ago, can be heard on my google+ page, no middle initial.
Yeats's son Michael, fathered in his late fifties, toured the US in the 70s. A friend in the Berkshires heard him recall his father mainly shooing him from the room to write or recite. Sounds accurate. (Maybe that's why Shakespeare lived in London, his kids in Stratford!)
I mentioned learning Yeats at Leonard Unger's knee, but also from Chester Anderson, Joycean and Irish specialist ( )
1 vote AlanWPowers | May 15, 2015 |
My favorite poet, and the ultimate volume of his poetry. ( )
  unclebob53703 | Jan 25, 2015 |
Lyrical, mystical, beautifully crafted. Yeats not only spoke to the his time and place, he transcended. ( )
  shevener | Mar 5, 2014 |
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» Add other authors (39 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Yeats, W. B.primary authorall editionsconfirmed
Albright, DanielEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Finneran, Richard J.Editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
John, Augustussecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Disambiguation notice
The classifying of Yeats' "Collected Poems" in its various editions is not an easy job, but mainly they can be divided into three groups.

1. Collected Poems, 1933. There were earlier collected editions called simply "Poems" (1895, 1905, 1910) but this one near the end of his life was the first intended as a career collection. However, it is not complete, as Yeats lived until 1939, publishing three more volumes of poetry; in addition "Last Poems" (which he had prepared) was published shortly after his death ("the day of his death was a cold, dark day"). Nonetheless, the incomplete 1933 Collected Poems is still with us -- the Wordsworth Poetry Series editions, usually issued as "Poetical Works" but sometimes called "Works of W.B. Yeats" or just "Collected Poems" -- but all bearing the same ISBN 1853264032, do not contain the full Collected Poems through 1939 but only the contents of the 1933 volume. These have been separated into their own entry with a clarifying if somewhat clunky title.

2. Collected Poems (1940 - ). This is the 'normal' Collected Poems, containing all the volumes of Yeats' poetry through 1939. From 1940 through the early 1980s (with very minor corrections, revisions and additions) this was the standard hardback Collected Poems of Yeats, and it continues to be standard paperback edition. These are generally called just "Collected Poems of W. B. Yeats"

3. Then in 1983 was issued the inaugural volume of "The Collected Works of W. B. Yeats" -- "Volume I: The Poems". This added to the 'normal' Collected Poems text 137 pages of previously uncollected poems, from magazines, letters, embedded in prose works, etc etc. When you buy the hardback Collected Poems of Yeats now, this is what you get (as noted above the paperback edition continues tp offer the 1940-1982 text). So, this greatly expanded edition has also been separated out and is entitled The Collected Works of W. B. Yeats: Volume I, The Poems.. It can be identified by the US isbn 0684839350 (9780684839356) or the UK isbn 0333353617.

Please try to place or combine your Collected Poems of Yeats with the proper edition.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0684807319, 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. --Kerry Fried

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:18:17 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

Gathers all of the poems by the Irish writer, including reworkings of Irish myths and meditations on youth, love, nature, art, and war.

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HighBridge Audio

An edition of this book was published by HighBridge Audio.

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An edition of this book was published by HighBridge.

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