In this volume you get The Celtic Twilight (1893), 34 Irish stories about the supernatural, where little people, faeries, ghosts (some of them headless) abound; most of them have been collected from the people who remember this old lore, but a few of them, like A Voice, and The Old Town, are from Yeats' own experience.
The second part is The Secret Rose (1897), 9 legends that are perhaps my favorite section of this book, with stories like The Wisdom of the King, of a lonely hero who as a baby was given a "grey as the mist" drop of hawk crone blood, and whose hair was mixed with feathers.
Stories of Red Hanrahan (1897 and rewritten in 1907), is the life and death of a wandering poet, "the learned man and the great songmaker", which includes a number of poems.
Rosa Alchemica, Tables of the Law, and The Adoration of the Magi (1897) are on esoteric mysticism; glimpses into heaven and hell.
The final part is Per Amica Silentia Lunae (1917), essays on spiritualism, Christianity, poetry and its writers, and more.
Written with much beauty by the man many consider to be Ireland's greatest poet (and Nobel Prize for Literature in 1923), this unique collection of tales will enchant anyone interested in Irish history and its legends; legends which will, like the little creatures, last "until God shall burn up the world with a kiss".
on November 13, 2005
_Mythologies_ by Irish national poet, William Butler Yeats, is a fascinating collection from the writings of Yeats featuring various stories and legends which reveal Ireland's mythical and spiritual tradition. W. B. Yeats was regarded as Ireland's greatest poet and won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1923. But, Yeats was also an occultist who belonged to the secret society, the Golden Dawn, as well as an Irish nationalist and promoter of the Celtic renaissance. This book is a very interesting collection from his writings featuring tales of Gaelic magic, fairies, demons, curses, banshees, ghosts, and mysticism. It represents an excellent introduction to the writings of Yeats and to his mystical thought.
The first section of this book contains extracts from _The Celtic Twilight_, first published in 1893. There are in total forty separate tales presented from _The Celtic Twilight_. These include stories featuring fairies and ghosts and various elements of Irish folklore. Yeats states that most of the tales in this book were told to him by Paddy Flynn, an old Irishman. In particular, Yeats is influenced by the poetry of Dante, as he traces out the role of the afterlife in heaven, hell, and purgatory for souls trapped between the two. Yeats also emphasizes the roles of the Sidhe, fairies, and banshees.
The second section of this book contains extracts from _The Secret Rose_ published in 1897 along with _The Stories of Red Hanrahan_ and _Rosa Alchemica_. _The Secret Rose_ contains nine separate chapters, many of them featuring bizarre tales including a tale of crucifixion. _The Stories of Red Hanrahan_, emphasizing a schoolmaster and a mysterious game of cards, rewritten with the help of Lady Gregory in 1907, contains six tales.
The next section of the book contains the following parts: _Rosa Alchemica_, _The Tables of the Law_, and _The Adoration of the Magi_, published in 1897. These include discussions of alchemy and the occult as well as Yeats' discussion of Christianity. Finally, the book ends with extracts from _Per Amica Silentia Lunae_, published in 1917. This section includes five chapters. Mention is made of various alchemical and occult traditions including mention of the medieval mystic Joachim of Fiore who proposed three world ages, an Age of the Father, an Age of the Son, and an Age of the Holy Ghost. Throughout these sections the occult development of Yeats can be seen as he deals with various occult figures who further his spiritual understanding.
This book provides an excellent introduction to the writings of W. B. Yeats, Irish national poet and occultist. The book contains important extracts from his beautiful writings which serve to illuminate various components of the Irish/Celtic tradition.
on July 1, 2014
A new level of Yeats. First you read his poems, then you digest the many folk and fairy tales he helped edit, then you move on to this one. Yeats was a man of his time, so he explored several issues of the day and we can thank him for saving and exploring a definite part of Irish History.
on May 20, 2012
W.B Yeats while known best for his poetry wrote Mythologies a wonderfully subtle and atmospheric collection of
short stories set in Ireland featuring ghost, faeries, and the like. While not graphically horrific by modern
standards, Mythologies captures the soft unexplainable moments that hover over rational human existence...
the door down the hall that closes itself, the stranger on the road that never existed, the premonition that
leads to surreal encounter, the power of love to transcend mortality. This is the stuff of Mythologies. Great
little book on ghosts and other things that go bump in the night.