Yeats, William Butler
Born: 1865 AD
Died: 1939 AD, at 74 years of age.
1865- Born in Dublin, Ireland
-was perhaps the greatest English-language poets of the 20th century.
-was the leader of the Irish Literary Renaissance during the early 20th century
-Around these years, He had formed a profound attachment to the county of Sligo, where he stayed for long periods while living in London.
-Around these years, His interest in the occult led him to found the Dublin Hermetic Society and to join the London Lodge of Theosophists.
-His meeting with the nationalist John O’Leary prompted his discovery of Ireland as a literary subjects and his commitment to the cause of Irish national Identity.
-He fell in love with Maud Gonne and published The Wanderings of Oisin (poem)
-Around these years, Yeats sustained these original commitments.
-Irish myth and landscapes fill the poems of The Rose (poem)
-His edition of Blake (poem) with Edwin Ellis influenced his own thought.
-A meeting with Lady Isabella Augusta GREGORY and visits Coole Park provided a model of social grace and generosity that was practically useful and, in his poetry, of symbolic importance
-He enshrined his unrequited love for Gonne in the stylized, erotic, symbolic verses of The Wind among the Reeds (poem)
-Head of the Order of the Golden Dawn (London)
-He became president of the Irish National Theatre Society (later the ABBEY THEATRE), for which he had written, among other plays, the patriotic Cathleen ni Houlihan.
-Yeats experienced the truth of his dictum that “consciousness is conflict”: his ideals were thwarted by a word of contrary facts.
-Prompted by the colloquial energies of Synge’s verse and encouraged by his friendship (from 1912) with EZRA POUND, this toughening of style broke the grip of earlier romantic and Pre-Raphaelite influence on Yeats.
-Middle class Dublin earned Yeats’s satiric contempt for its graceless treatment of Hugh Lane’s bequest of painting to the city.
-Such concerns crowd Responsibilities with the angry, exhilarated accents of a man whose life and poetic style have undergone radical change.
-With the Japanese No drama as a model, Pound also influenced the refinement of Yeats’s drama (Plays for Dancers)
-Yeats married Georgiana Hyde-Lees.
-Between these years, her automatic writing and speech gave him the raw material for A Vision (1925; rev. ed., 1937), the work that crowned his pursuit of mystical knowledge.
-Contributing ton the “power and self-possession” of the dense, symbolic poems in The Tower (1928) and The Winding Stair (1933), A Vision provides useful in insights into much of the poetry.
-The titles of the two volumes of poetry refer to Thoor Ballylee in County Galway, a Norman fortification acquired by Yeats.
-At the end of the Anglo-Irish war (1916-22), he became a senator of the Irish Free State.
-He received the Nobel Prize for literature.
-He published Essays (1924), Collected Plays (1934), and volumes of poetry.
-He underwent the Steinach operation (a procedure that stimulates the production of sexual hormones)
-He believed, rejuvenated his flagging creativity and stimulated the intensely sexual themes and imagery of many of the late poems.
-His idiosyncratic and controversial edition of The Oxford Book of Modern Verse came out.
1938-His completed Autobiographies appeared, giving the definitive, wished for lineaments to his own identity.
-Later plays and Last Poems were published posthumously
-His final play, The Death of Cuchulain, and his last two poems, all dealing with heroic resolution in the face of death, were completed only days before he died.
-Yeats’s early lyrical poetry and drama drew inspiration from Irish legend and occult learning, but his later writing became increasingly engaged with his own time. (National Gallery, Dublin.)
1939- Died on January 28
Page last updated: 4:13pm, 21st Sep '06