Selected Poems

Selected Poems All things can tempt me from this craft of verse One time it was a woman s face or worse The seeming needs of my fool driven land Now nothing but comes readier to the hand Than this accustomed toil F

All things can tempt me from this craft of verse One time it was a woman s face, or worse The seeming needs of my fool driven land Now nothing but comes readier to the hand Than this accustomed toil From All Things Can Tempt Me Nobel Prize winner W.B Yeats laid the foundations for an Irish literary revival, drawing inspiration from his country s folklore, All things can tempt me from this craft of verse One time it was a woman s face, or worse The seeming needs of my fool driven land Now nothing but comes readier to the hand Than this accustomed toil From All Things Can Tempt Me Nobel Prize winner W.B Yeats laid the foundations for an Irish literary revival, drawing inspiration from his country s folklore, the occult, and Celtic philosophy A writer of both poems and plays, he helped found Dublin s famed Abbey Theatre The poems here provide an example of his life s work and artistry, beginning with verses such as The Stolen Child from his debut collection Crossways written when he was 24 through Why Should Not Old Men Be Mad from On the Boiler, published a year prior to his death.

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Selected Poems

  1. William Butler Yeats pronounced je ts was an Irish poet and dramatist, and one of the foremost figures of 20th century literature A pillar of both the Irish and British literary establishments, in his later years Yeats served as an Irish Senator for two terms He was a driving force behind the Irish Literary Revival, and along with Lady Gregory and Edward Martyn founded the Abbey Theatre, serving as its chief during its early years In 1923 he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature for what the Nobel Committee described as inspired poetry, which in a highly artistic form gives expression to the spirit of a whole nation He was the first Irishman so honored Yeats is generally considered one of the few writers who completed their greatest works after being awarded the Nobel Prize such works include The Tower 1928 and The Winding Stair and Other Poems 1929.Yeats was born and educated in Dublin but spent his childhood in County Sligo He studied poetry in his youth, and from an early age was fascinated by both Irish legends and the occult Those topics feature in the first phase of his work, which lasted roughly until the turn of the century His earliest volume of verse was published in 1889, and those slow paced and lyrical poems display debts to Edmund Spenser and Percy Bysshe Shelley, as well as to the Pre Raphaelite poets From 1900, Yeats poetry grew physical and realistic He largely renounced the transcendental beliefs of his youth, though he remained preoccupied with physical and spiritual masks, as well as with cyclical theories of life from

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  1. When You Are OldWhen you are old and gray and full of sleep,And nodding by the fire, take down this book,And slowly read, and dream of the soft lookYour eyes had once, and of their shadows deep How many loved your moments of glad grace,And loved your beauty with love false or true But one man loved the pilgrim soul in you,And loved the sorrows of your changing face.And bending down beside the glowing barsMurmur, a little sadly, how love fledAnd paced upon the mountains overheadAnd hid his face a [...]

  2. The last stroke of midnight dies.All day in the one chairFrom dream to dream and rhyme to rhyme I haverangedIn rambling talk with an image of air Vague memories, nothing but memories W.B Yeats, Broken Dreams , The Wild Swans at Coole 1919 From the depths of anything mysterious and unfathomable, here come bursts of poetry moving across the years, making impressions with an assortment of intensities and kaleidoscopic visualizations W.B Yeats and his unique art This collection includes verses clear [...]

  3. image error If you have revisited the town, thin Shade,Whether to look upon your monument I wonder if the builder has been paid Or happier thoughted when the day is spentTo drink of that salt breath out of the seaWhen grey gulls flit about instead of men,And the gaunt houses put on majesty Let these content you and be gone again For they are at their old tricks yet.A manOf your own passionate serving kind who had broughtIn his full hands what, had they only known,Had given their children s child [...]

  4. Sound file of this review here soundcloud tremcc review oI ve always been particularly fond of Yeats Recently I ve been told twice in quick succession he was than just a little rightwing politically and that this ought to put me off him The problem is that getting turned off poets just because they are rightwing wouldn t really leave me all that many poets to read.I tend to buy my oldest daughter books of selected poems for Christmas I m not quite sure why or how it even got started But by now [...]

  5. The poems I liked, I really liked However, there were quite a few that I didn t much care for and found difficult to understand I do appreciate that Yeat s poems must have spoke to Irish people at the time of writing, especially the poems which referenced Parnell, Irish nationalism etc I also think I would have enjoyed the poems with knowledge of mythology as a lot of the poems do reference mythical characters, some that I ve never heard of.Two of my favourite poems from this book A Coat W.B [...]

  6. Our long ships loose thought woven sails and wait, For God has bid them share an equal fate And when at last defeated in His wars, They have gone down under the same white stars, We shall no longer hear the little cry Of our sad hearts, that may not live nor die.I was struck yesterday, September 1, by the dates of Yeats birth and death 1865 and 1939 My pause was but a series of moments, my thoughts dragging themselves across the rocks of history, reading and a world too full of weeping Should we [...]

  7. Having only ever read Yeats easier and often anthologised poems I hadn t realised how difficult much of his work could be Well, at least I learnt some Irish history and mythology.And here is one of his that even I could understand, although given his Celtic roots shouldn t this be about redheads rather than blondes For Anne Gregory Never shall a young man,Thrown into despairBy those great honey coloured Ramparts at your ear,Love you for yourself aloneAnd not your yellow hair But I shall get a ha [...]

  8. A suitable poem for Trump ettes Turning and turning in the widening gyreThe falcon cannot hear the falconer Things fall apart the centre cannot hold Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,The blood dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhereThe ceremony of innocence is drowned The best lack all conviction, while the worstAre full of passionate intensity When hitch hiking in Australia in 68 69, I carried one book It might have been this one What I do remember is arriving in Melbourne after a two month s [...]

  9. For he would be thinking of loveTill the stars had run awayAnd the shadows eaten the moon I am perhaps a very selective reader of Yeats poetry I do not like all of his poems, but some of them I love and cherish with all of my heart Perhaps this is due to the fact that in order to understand the majority of his poems an extensive knowledge of Irish culture and mythology is required which I sadly lack And also, these poems are meant to be heard, and ideally to be read aloud in a soft Irish voice T [...]

  10. A collection of W.B Yeats s poetry that spans from his early career up until his death Somewhat oblique and heavy in allusion, I won t pretend to understand what Yeats is talking about most of the time He had a strong reverence for the mystical and esoteric Constant references to classical and Irish mythology ensure his poems are frequently rooted in the past, even when he is talking about current events He is at once a modernist, classicist, and romanticist, deeply sentimental, rarely anything [...]

  11. Here are some samples from the book The Lake Isle of InnisfreeBy William Butler YeatsI will arise and go now, and go to Innisfree,And a small cabin build there, of clay and wattles made Nine bean rows will I have there, a hive for the honey bee,And live alone in the bee loud glade.And I shall have some peace there, for peace comes dropping slow,Dropping from the veils of the morning to where the cricket sings There midnight s all a glimmer, and noon a purple glow,And evening full of the linnet s [...]

  12. Not much experience with poetry, so this was a bit of a tough read for me Many poems in this collection tell me about the the process of aging, looking back, decay and thinking abouth the dreams and idleness of youth, where everything seemed possible.The concetration needed to fully grasp a poem proved an interesting excercise for me I noticed that I sometimes read lazy and allow my thoughts to wander It was a confronting experience.

  13. My favorite one An Irish Airman Foresees His Death I know that I shall meet my fate Somewhere among the clouds above Those that I fight I do not hate Those that I guard I do not love My country is Kiltartan Cross,My countrymen Kiltartan s poor, No likely end could bring them loss Or leave them happier than before Nor law, nor duty bade me fight, Nor public man, nor cheering crowds,A lonely impulse of delight Drove to this tumult in the clouds I balanced all, brought all to mind, The years to com [...]

  14. I feel so guilty because I want to like Yeats but while there are one or two amazing poems, like Leda and the Swan and An Irish Airman Forsees His Death , or one or two that are very interesting and strikingly expressed, like The Second Coming or The Circus Animal s Desertion , overall, I find Yeats boring a lot of the time and a bit repugnant for his conservative nature, such as his nationalism I found it hard to concentrate and understand a lot of his poems and I didn t really come away feelin [...]

  15. Beautiful poetry The focus is largely on Irish history, but I think behind that is a genuine search for what is most important in life Though I appreciated the beautiful language and what I thought the message was, I still felt like much of it went over my head.

  16. This was a strange one for mery on and off Still undecided if I would call myself a fan of his work Some of his poetry delights me, the rest I would have happily skimmed through I didn t skim however, just wanted him to redeem himselfbut he failed.

  17. Contains one of my all time favourite poem An Irish Airman Foresees His Death.Those that I fight, I do not hateThose that I guard, I do not love W.B Yeats

  18. We sat grown quiet at the name of love We saw the last embers of daylight die,And in the trembling blue green of the skyA moon, worn as if it had been a shellWashed by time s waters as they rose and fellAbout the starts and broke in days and years from Adam s Curse First, a word on Modern Classics edition it contains not only a selection of Yeats s work, but also an introduction with contextual background at the front and detailed notes about the various references contained in the poems at the [...]

  19. The Circus Animals Desertion II sought a theme and sought for it in vain,I sought it daily for six weeks or so.Maybe at last, being but a broken man,I must be satisfied with my heart, althoughWinter and summer till old age beganMy circus animals were all on show,Those stilted boys, that burnished chariot,Lion and woman and the Lord knows what.IIWhat can I but enumerate old themes,First that sea rider Oisin led by the noseThrough three enchanted islands, allegorical dreams,Vain gaiety, vain battl [...]

  20. A volume of selected poems is a strange beast to read and then to consider afterwards Mostly there is an awe at what a strange and rich collection of poetry this book has in it There is his obsession with Maud Gonne which even setting aside a certain tradition of stalkerish love poetry will be interesting to read about further Then there is the mystic poetry, his tendency to make up his own symbology something designed to drive newbs like myself slightly batty But above all there are the ringing [...]

  21. I bought this about five years ago for a project and have just now gotten around to reading it I started it feeling very excited Yeats is so lyrical and imaginative and so obviously enad with nature and myths His poetry is so beautiful But I think as I continued through the book, I found it harder to understand a lot of his poems Many of them seemed to go all over the place or refer to myths and gods I am unfamiliar with It made reading the poetry like a chore All in all, the poems I loved, I R [...]

  22. Yeats can be irritating sometimes snobbish, attitudinizingHis symbolism can be off putting, and so can his name dropping.But anyone who can write about a savage god in one poem We, who still labour by the cromlech on the shore, The grey cairn on the hill, when day sinks drowned in dew, Being weary of the world s empires, bow down to you, Master of the still stars and of the flaming door and utter this gentle plea to his love in another But I, being poor, have only my dreams I have spread my drea [...]

  23. The start of this collection was wonderful I loved the dream like imagery,the long lines and the Romantic outlook in the poems of Irish Folklore Many of them were just simply beautiful However, the further I got through the book, the the poems seemed to become ambiguous and obscure, and although this was a crucial development in to Modernism and into what Yeats idealized in terms of his poetry, sadly I felt like the lack of the Romantic, elegant language made his later poems seem sparse and alm [...]

  24. William Butler Yeats, the first Irishman to win the Nobel Prize for Literature, is not only one of the greatest poets of the 20th century but one of the most widely read The landscape, myths, legends, and folklore of his homeland lie at the heart of his poetic imagination, and the unique musicality of Ireland adds to the richness of his verse But the themes of his poetry are universal and timeless the conflict between life and death, love and hate, and the meaning of man s existence in an imperf [...]

  25. I think Yeats at his best is fantastic, as some individual poems are absolutely magnificent There were occasional times in reading this collection where I had to stop, and read something again to make sure it was exactly as incredible as I had thought it was the first time It always was The problem was that poems like that are kind of few and far between For every great poem there are three or four pages worth that just didn t speak to me at all This isn t to say that they are totally without me [...]

  26. I read many of the poems years ago grad school, what else but I still love to teach and read Yeats I needed one of his early, embarassing poems that is mentioned in a book I was teaching The poem I needed was one of his that inspired the entry that says his poetry became better as he aged, unlike many poets.That much is certain.I do drag this book out from time to time Not that long ago, we read poems of his outloud during a dinner party We all thought he meant different things by Sailing to Byz [...]

  27. My favorite An AppointmentBy W.B YeatsBeing out of heart with governmentI took a broken root to flingWhere the proud, wayward squirrel went,Taking delight that he could spring And he, with that low whinnying soundThat is like laughter, sprang againAnd so to the other tree at a boundNor the tame will, nor timid brain,Nor heavy knitting of the browBred that fierce tooth and cleanly limbAnd threw him up to laugh on the bough No government appointed him.What can I say The poem speaks for itself of [...]

  28. Overall, I would say that the poems Seamus Heaney chose to represent his tower dwelling predecessor William Butler Yeats were very well chosen, though I don t know enough about Yeats other poems to make a sound judgment Suffice to say that what was here was beautiful, including the Fiddler of Dooney, now one of my favourite poems of the sort Yeats wrote Certainly an interesting way to introduce oneself to the world of Yeats, and well formatted as well as they are not typed in that scrunched typ [...]

  29. It s the first time I have really looked at Yeats s poetry Perhaps not surprisingly, I found the famous ones the most enjoyable Some, of the other I found remarkably clumsy and poorly expressed Perhaps this is why they didn t become famous He sometimes takes to mentioning or even listing people s names and place names as though this were evocative or impressive Part of my problem is that I am rather out of sympathy with the man and his period An interesting exercise nevertheless I liked Jeffares [...]

  30. I ve been reading Yeats since college, which is over forty years now I have returned to the poems many times and my wife and I visited Ireland and went to some of the places mentioned in his poems I loved Yeats when I first read and studied him and my feelings have only increased over the years as I have revisited poems Lately, I have memorized a pair of them I prefer to stick to the poems and not inquire too much about a person s political leanings, but I can understand why others may think dif [...]

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