William Butler Yeats
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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William Butler Yeats Poems
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;
He Wishes For The Cloths Of Heaven
HAD I the heavens' embroidered cloths, Enwrought with golden and silver light, The blue and the dim and the dark cloths Of night and light and the half-light,
A Crazed Girl
THAT crazed girl improvising her music. Her poetry, dancing upon the shore,
A Drinking Song
WINE comes in at the mouth And love comes in at the eye; That's all we shall know for truth Before we grow old and die.
I MADE my song a coat Covered with embroideries Out of old mythologies
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,
A Faery Song
WE who are old, old and gay, O so old! Thousands of years, thousands of years, If all were told:
A Dream Of Death
I DREAMED that one had died in a strange place Near no accustomed hand, And they had nailed the boards above her face, The peasants of that land,
The Lake Isle Of Innisfree
I WILL arise and go now, and go to Innisfree, And a small cabin build there, of clay and wattles made: Nine bean-rows will I have there, a hive for the honeybee, And live alone in the bee-loud glade.
Sailing To Byzantium
That is no country for old men. The young In one another's arms, birds in the trees ---Those dying generations---at their song, The salmon-falls, the mackerel-crowded seas,
A Dialogue Of Self And Soul
My Soul: I summon to the winding ancient stair; Set all your mind upon the steep ascent, Upon the broken, crumbling battlement, Upon the breathless starlit air,
An Irish Airman Forsees His Death
I KNOW that I shall meet my fate Somewhere among the clouds above; Those that I fight I do not hate, Those that I guard I do not love;
I WHISPERED, 'I am too young,' And then, 'I am old enough'; Wherefore I threw a penny To find out if I might love.
A Deep-Sworn Vow
OTHERS because you did not keep That deep-sworn vow have been friends of mine; Yet always when I look death in the face,
Quotationsmore quotations »
''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. ...
(4 April 1928 - 28 May 2014)
(March 26, 1874 – January 29, 1963)
(10 December 1830 – 15 May 1886)
(26 April 1564 - 23 April 1616)
(12 July 1904 – 23 September 1973)
Edgar Allan Poe
(19 January 1809 - 7 October 1849)
(1 February 1902 – 22 May 1967)
(31 May 1819 - 26 March 1892)
(31 October 1795 – 23 February 1821)
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.