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.
Though this edition has been reset and revised, the changes are not as shocking as the 1984 edition, which included 100 extra pages of notes, changes in language and punctuation, and, most significantly, a redefinition of the Last Poems. Richard Finneran has had the courage to reorder the poems according to notes that Yeats made shortly before his death. Readers may be surprised to find that "Under Ben Bulben," the poet's powerful and self-mythologizing epitaph, no longer ends the collection, as it has for more than 30 years. In its place they will discover the wistful "Politics": "How can I, that girl standing there, / My attention fix / On Roman or on Russian / Or on Spanish politics..." Yet devotees of either ending will agree that this is a truly necessary volume--indeed, one of the few. As Seamus Heaney writes, "All readers of Yeats will need this book; when they open it they will feel a surprise like that experienced by St. Brendan the Navigator and his crew when they disembarked upon an island that turned out to be the back of a dormant sea monster."
This book arrived in great condition. I am very pleased with it and it is everything I expected when I ordered it. Read morePublished 11 months ago by Lodnel
I now have all of Yeats' poetry in one book, which is great. So many versions out there, but this one suits my needs totally.Published 12 months ago by Yvonne Harding
A must have if you are a lover of poetry. I love this collection, it has brought me so much joyPublished 23 months ago by Jack
I ordered this as a birthday gift for my husband - he loves it - and so do I... It has turned out to be gift for us both.Published on February 7, 2010 by K. Mongaraz
This is a wondedrful collection for anyone who loves Yeats Poetry. I highly recommend it.Published on August 27, 2005 by Bruce Egsieker