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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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... in February 1983. The audience was general and the lectures were pitched accordingly. 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 ...


Louise Foxcroft: W.B. Yeats and her great-uncle

7 September 2000
... the 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 sho...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...


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 ...

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 ...
5 May 1988
... the 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 ...


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 ...
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 ...
23 April 1987
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 ...
6 February 2020
... quite 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 ...

At the Morgan Library

Hal Foster: Ubu Jarry

19 March 2020
... popular legend of base instincts, rapacious and violent.’ ‘What more is possible?’ W.B. Yeats, who was in attendance, recalled in his autobiography. ‘After us the Savage God.’ Was the uproarious Ubu an early intimation of his ‘rough beast’ slouching towards Bethlehem? Ubu roi is also a Second Coming of sorts, and certainly ‘mere ...


Seamus Deane

4 June 1981
Yeats, Ireland and Fascism 
by Elizabeth Cullingford.
Macmillan, 251 pp., £15, February 1981, 0 333 26199 2
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... In July 1933, at the height of his involvement with the Blueshirts, the Irish Fascist organisation, Yeats wrote: ‘It is amusing to live in a country where men will always act. Where nobody is satisfied with thought … The chance of being shot is raising everybody’s spirits enormously.’ However invigorating the prospect, the fulfilment did not come ...
1 December 1983
The Collected Letters of John Millington Synge. Vol. I: 1871-1907 
edited by Ann Saddlemyer.
Oxford, 385 pp., £30, August 1983, 0 19 812678 6
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... exacerbate the question of land and cause war between landowner and peasant. In Paris he joined Yeats and Maud Gonne in the Association Irlandaise and stayed in it as long as its talk sounded harmless, but when Maud’s journal L’Irlande Libre looked as if it would take the libre literally, he resigned from the association and told her he wouldn’t ...

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