William Butler Yeats

[W.B. Yeats] (13 June 1865 – 28 January 1939 / County Dublin / Ireland)

William Butler Yeats
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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 ... more »

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  • ''Designs in connection with postage stamps and coinage may be described, I think, as the silent ambassadors on national taste.''
    William Butler Yeats (1865-1939), Irish poet, playwright. Speech, March 3, 1926, to the Seanad Eireann, the Irish Senate, on the coinage bill.
  • ''It is most important that we should keep in this country a certain leisured class.... I am of the opinion of the ancient Jewish book which says "there is no wisdom without leisure."''
    William Butler Yeats (1865-1939), Irish poet, playwright. Speech, March 28, 1923, to the Seanad Eireann, the Irish Senate.
  • ''I think you can leave the arts, superior or inferior, to the conscience of mankind.''
    William Butler Yeats (1865-1939), Irish poet, playwright. Speech, June 7, 1923, to the Irish Senate. On the Censorship of Films Bill.
  • ''I wonder anybody does anything at Oxford but dream and remember, the place is so beautiful. One almost expects the people to sing instead of speaking. It is all ... like an opera.''
    William Butler Yeats (1865-1939), Irish poet, playwright. letter, Aug. 25, 1888, to writer Katherine Tynan (later Hinkson). The Collected Letters of W...
  • ''I hate journalists. There is nothing in them but tittering jeering emptiness. They have all made what Dante calls the Great Refusal.... The shallowest people on the ridge of the earth.''
    William Butler Yeats (1865-1939), Irish poet, playwright. letter, Aug. 30, 1888, to writer Katharine Tynan. The Collected Letters of W.B. Yeats, vol. ...
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  • Gold Star - 69,625 Points Fabrizio Frosini (11/9/2015 10:53:00 AM)

    Yeats Obituary - from The New York Times - January 29,1939:

    Nice, France, Jan.29. - The death of William Butler Yeats, famous Irish poet and playwright, occurred yesterday near Mentone. Mr. Yeats, who won the Nobel Prize for literature in 1923, was 73 years old.
    Mentone, France, Jan.29 (AP) . - Mr. Yeats died in the little French Riviera town of Roquebrune, after a short illness, at a boarding house where he and his wife had been staying.
    He will be buried tomorrow at Roquebrune. It was expected, however, that eventually the poet's body would be removed to his native Ireland.
    Mr. Yeats arrived in Roquebrune early last month in ill health. He suffered repeated heart attacks, and was able to take only short walks in the gardens of the house where he stayed. He had been confined to his bed since Tuesday.

  • Gold Star - 69,625 Points Fabrizio Frosini (6/13/2015 1:45:00 PM)

    “Yeats matters today in the way that Shakespeare or Jonson or Dickinson matter, ” says the critic and poet James Longenbach. “He's inseparable from what we understand the medium of the English language is capable of producing on the page.”

    TS Eliot called Yeats one of those few whose history is the history of their own time, who are a part of the consciousness of an age which cannot be understood without them.

  • Freshman - 589 Points Deniz Atay (8/16/2014 9:53:00 AM)

    W.B. Yeats is one of the closest poets (friends) to me. Words are insufficient to describe his poetry and legacy - you just have to live (and love) him...

  • Rookie S B (5/5/2014 5:43:00 PM)

    Classic and modern touches in his poetry. A Bronze Head is a very good poem of his.

  • Rookie - 281 Points Jack Growden (11/1/2013 1:00:00 AM)

    Brilliant poet! ! The greatest of his era in my opinion.

  • Rookie Dan Prichard (6/13/2012 3:11:00 AM)

    We made this short film, inspired by Yeats' 'When you are old and grey', here: http: //www.youtube.com/watch? v=qyDEEQoVqjY&feature=plcp The film explores the power of poetry and the experience of first love, using Yeats' work as its text. Hope you enjoy.

  • Rookie Barbara Nixon (4/12/2012 12:55:00 PM)

    William Butler Yeats is my favourite poet, he captures a mystique and depth in his poetry that touches my soul.

  • Rookie Sacheeka Benaragama (2/11/2012 10:52:00 PM)

    these poems are very good for childre like us

  • Rookie Babyjoram Benson (5/18/2009 5:56:00 AM)

    My name is Miss favor am 24yr old. I saw your profile today at www.youlog.com
    and it really acttract me alot i believe that you are the man i
    have been looking for to share my love; How is your health? i hope all is well
    with you. I believe that we can move from here; but remember that distance; age
    and colour dose not matter what matters is the true love and understanding; in
    my next
    e-mail i shall include my pictuer; i been waithing for your reply mail
    me with this mail address for further introduction.
    Bye hopeing to hear from you soonest


  • Rookie (11/8/2008 12:25:00 PM)

    one of my all time favorite writers

Read all 13 comments »
Best Poem of William Butler Yeats

When You Are Old

WHEN you are old and grey and full of sleep,
And nodding by the fire, take down this book,
And slowly read, and dream of the soft look
Your eyes had once, and of their shadows deep;
How many loved your moments of glad grace,
And loved your beauty with love false or true,
But one man loved the pilgrim Soul in you,
And loved the sorrows of your changing face;
And bending down beside the glowing bars,
Murmur, a little sadly, how Love fled
And paced upon the mountains overhead
And hid his face amid a crowd of stars.

Read the full of When You Are Old
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