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Selected Poems And Four Plays of William Butler Yeats Paperback – September 9, 1996
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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.
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Top Customer Reviews
One of the hard and nourishing kernals left on the threshingroom floor will certainly be Yeats.
These are poems not to be read, but learned by heart.
Among my favorites from this collection (with years of composition) are: "The Stolen Child", "To an Isle in the Water" and "Down by the Salley Gardens" (1889); "The Lake Isle of Innisfree" and "When You Are Old" (1893); "He Wishes for the Cloths of Heaven" (1899); "The Folly of Being Comforted" and "Adam's Curse" (1904); "All Things Can Tempt Me", "Brown Penny" and "To a Child Dancing in the Wind" (1910); and "The Cat and the Moon" and "Two Songs of a Fool" (1919).
"And we will wander hand in hand
Through hollow lands and hilly lands,
And pluck till time and times are done,
The golden apples of the moon,
The silver apples of the sun.
"We must lie down where all the ladders start
In the foul rag- and- bone shop of the heart"
"But one man loved the pilgrim soul in you,
and loved the sorrows of your changing face"
"An aged man is but a paltry thing
a tattered soul upon a stick
unless soul claps its hand and sing..
Yeats believed in much nonsense in his life, and apparently was not the kindest of human beings but he wrote some very great poetry.
As a boy, my dad used to quote Yeats on every occasion and he (Yeats) was a patron saint to many Irishfolk. Today not so much, but as I made my way down the ladder I was glad I had the Yeats book tucked into my pants. He is the epitome of the artist who keeps changing through circumstance, open to new influence, even partial to drugs, for many credit his late flowering to the monkey glands he took in Switzerland to rejuvenate his sex life, the precursor to today's Viagra.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This item met the standards for its category. This item was in the condition for which it was advertised. Thank you.Published on January 7, 2014 by Vincent Thomas Howard
Compared to all the books I reviewed, I thought this did the best job of presenting Yeats most famous works in logical sequence. I could see him maturing as a writer over time.Published on June 4, 2013 by Nicole
The book arrived extraordinarily early, and arrived in pristine and superb condition. The poems that have been encompassed are simply amazing! Read morePublished on February 19, 2012 by Lia
I haven't yet read all of it, but I ordered it because it's beautiful, classic poetry. I am quite happy with the book.Published on August 19, 2011 by Diane S. Akacich