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Diary

Louise Foxcroft: W.B. Yeats and her great-uncle, 7 September 2000

... lease on which, according to the usual practice in France, had to be renewed after ten years. W.B. Yeats died in Cap Martin on the same day. His family chose the same sort of plot and the two men were buried alongside each other and their graves marked by plain white marble slabs bearing just their names and dates. Family photographs show both graves strewn ...

Yeats and the Occult

Seamus Deane, 18 October 1984

The Mystery Religion of W.B. Yeats 
by Graham Hough.
Harvester, 129 pp., £15.95, May 1984, 0 7108 0603 5
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Yeats, Eliot, Pound and the Politics of Poetry 
by Cairns Craig.
Croom Helm, 323 pp., £14.95, January 1982, 9780856649974
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Yeats. Poems 1919-1935: A Selection of Critical Essays 
edited by Elizabeth Cullingford.
Macmillan, 238 pp., £14, July 1984, 0 333 27422 9
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The Poet and his Audience 
by Ian Jack.
Cambridge, 198 pp., £20, July 1984, 0 521 26034 5
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A New Commentary on the Poems of W.B. Yeats 
by A. Norman Jeffares.
Macmillan, 543 pp., £35, May 1984, 0 333 35214 9
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Poems of W.B. Yeats 
by A. Norman Jeffares.
Macmillan, 428 pp., £17, August 1984, 0 333 36213 6
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... Yet all Yeatsian specialists will profit from this book and the ‘radical simplification’ of Yeats’s occult philosophy which it so lucidly achieves. Professor Hough takes Yeats’s beliefs seriously, but is neither a dévot nor sceptic. He demonstrates the ‘ancient lineage’ of the claims of the modern occultist ...

The Bird-Haunt

Harry Clifton, 20 July 2000

... They had changed their throats and had the throats of birds. W.B. Yeats Soon enough, they will come to me, The birds, as I hunker here In a wooden blind, on the shores of Lough Neagh, Alone and cold, but never lonely. All the souls will come to me, Their given names changed To Mallard, Moorhen, Mandarin, Merganser, Chooking in among the reeds Or a blatter of wings on the water Of an absolute take-off ...

The Playboy of West 29th Street

Colm Tóibín: Yeats’s Father in Exile, 25 January 2018

... that someone called Colm Tóibín was in the library looking at the correspondence of John Butler Yeats, which had been transcribed, then typed, then donated to the library by William M. Murphy, John Butler Yeats’s biographer. And now I looked up from the Yeats letters to find a man ...

Paint Run Amuck

Frank Kermode: Jack Yeats, 12 November 1998

Jack Yeats 
by Bruce Arnold.
Yale, 418 pp., £29.95, September 1998, 0 300 07549 9
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... is probably some tacit agreement about which ones deserve it. It doesn’t seem wrong to call W.B. Yeats a great poet, and in certain contexts he may be called a great Irish poet, though most of the time it might seem odd to insist that Dante was a great Italian, or Shakespeare a great English, poet, partly because we vaguely think of them as transcending ...

Anglo-Irish Occasions

Seamus Heaney, 5 May 1988

... prospect of this evening’s honours was first mooted I was aware that T.S. Eliot had praised W.B. Yeats for not allowing himself to become a mere coathanger upon which the world draped its honours, but could assuage myself by thinking that Eliot had never witnessed the Merton Professor of English perform his capework as resourcefully and generously as he has ...

Lily and Lolly

Sarah Rigby, 18 July 1996

The Yeats Sisters: A Biography of Susan and Elizabeth Yeats 
by Joan Hardwick.
Pandora, 263 pp., £8.99, January 1996, 0 04 440924 9
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... Shortly before he died in 1922, John Butler Yeats wrote an angry, defensive letter to his eldest son William. W.B. Yeats had published a memoir in the Dial and his father objected to the almost parenthetical mention in one episode of an ‘enraged’ Yeats family ...

Spooky

Terry Eagleton, 7 July 1994

The Collected Letters of W.B. Yeats. Vol. III: 1901-1904 
edited by John Kelly and Ronald Schuchard.
Oxford, 781 pp., £35, May 1994, 0 19 812683 2
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Modern Irish Literature: Sources and Founders 
by Vivian Mercier.
Oxford, 381 pp., £30, April 1994, 0 19 812074 5
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... I dreamed last night I was hanged,’ W.B. Yeats once announced, ‘but was the life and soul of the party.’ It is impossible with such oracular Yeatsian pronouncements to separate mask from reality, the poseur from the sincere eccentric. Auden called Yeats ‘silly like us’, but he was really just being polite: this table-rapping, spirit-summoning Rosicrucian was a lot sillier than most of us ...

Diary

Gerald Hammond: At the Races, 3 July 1997

... When W.B. Yeats imagined his ideal society, an aristocratic world where poets would be celebrated, and surrounded by ‘hearers and hearteners of the work’, the one place where it could be glimpsed was the racecourse: ‘There, where the course is,’ he wrote in ‘At Galway Races’, ‘delight makes all of the one mind ...

Dreadful Sentiments

Tom Paulin, 3 April 1986

The Collected Letters of W.B. Yeats. Vol. I: 1865-1895 
edited by John Kelly and Eric Domville.
Oxford, 548 pp., £22.50, January 1986, 0 19 812679 4
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... lately there has developed a liberating impulse to desacralise a national institution called YEATS and in a seminal pamphlet, ‘Heroic Styles: The Tradition of an Idea’, the country’s most significant and influential critic, Seamus Deane, has criticised the way in which an acceptance of ‘the mystique of Irish-ness’ can involve readers in the ...

Between centuries

Frank Kermode, 11 January 1990

In the Nineties 
by John Stokes.
Harvester, 199 pp., £17.50, September 1989, 0 7450 0604 3
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Olivia Shakespear and W.B. Yeats 
by John Harwood.
Macmillan, 218 pp., £35, January 1990, 0 333 42518 9
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Letters to the New Island 
by W.B. Yeats, edited by George Bornstein and Hugh Witemeyer.
Macmillan, 200 pp., £45, November 1989, 0 333 43878 7
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The Letters of Ezra Pound to Margaret Anderson: The ‘Little Review’ Correspondence 
edited by Thomas Scott, Melvin Friedman and Jackson Bryer.
Faber, 368 pp., £30, July 1989, 0 571 14099 8
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Ezra Pound and Margaret Cravens: A Tragic Friendship, 1910-1912 
edited by Omar Pound and Robert Spoo.
Duke, 181 pp., £20.75, January 1989, 0 8223 0862 2
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Postcards from the End of the World: An Investigation into the Mind of Fin-de-Siècle Vienna 
by Larry Wolff.
Collins, 275 pp., £15, January 1990, 0 00 215171 5
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Rites of Spring: The Great War and the Birth of the Modern Age 
by Modris Eksteins.
Bantam, 396 pp., £14.95, September 1989, 0 593 01862 1
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Esprit de Corps: The Art of the Parisian Avant-Garde and the First World War, 1916-1925 
by Kenneth Silver.
Thames and Hudson, 506 pp., £32, October 1989, 0 500 23567 8
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... in a single week. The Empire closed, but not for long. It was inextricably mingled with the web of metropolitan culture, with Sickert and Symons, Yeats, Walkley and even Shaw; also with sex and drink. The peculiar character of music-hall entertainment – a mixture of singing, dancing, stand-up comics, acrobats ...

Hillside Men

Roy Foster: Ernie O’Malley, 16 July 1998

Ernie O’Malley: IRA Intellectual 
by Richard English.
Oxford, 284 pp., £25, March 1998, 0 01 982059 3
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... W.B. Yeats Liked to think (and write) that the insurrection of Easter 1916 was ignited by a generation of cultural revolutionaries; and it did indeed bear – in retrospect at least – some resemblance to a revolution of the intellectuals. But the towering figures among Irish writers during the long upheaval from the Fin de Siècle to the Thirties lived aside from the world of the insurrectionists ...

Memories of Tagore

E.P. Thompson, 22 May 1986

... His own prose versions of some of his poems, entitled Gitanjali, with a prefatory essay by W.B. Yeats, had met with instant acclaim, and Macmillan were hurrying out successor volumes, including The Gardener. Scholars and critics continue to argue how far these ‘translations’ established his reputation or led to misrecognitions. Mary Lago’s Imperfect ...
Selected Literary Criticism of Louis MacNeice 
edited by Alan Heuser.
Oxford, 279 pp., £19.50, March 1987, 0 19 818573 1
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... my impression that some of the Northern poets still hope to present MacNeice, not indeed as their Yeats or Joyce, but as their Kavanagh – a poet who seemed inspiring to his juniors, and available to them as Yeats and Joyce never were. Seamus Heaney, for instance, has written of Kavanagh in terms which I can’t see ...

On Paul Muldoon

Clair Wills, 6 February 2020

... give up the fight. Behind many of the warbling, nest-building images lurks the shadow of W.B. Yeats, another poet of birds. Yeats actually appears in one poem, conjuring spirits ‘where they threshed/upon the threshold of this world’. And there is even a poem spoken in the voice of his rough beast slouching towards ...

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