One of 20 th Century’s leading voices in literature
Various themes covered love, hate, life, death & politics.
“ Brown Penny” explores the theme of love without reservations I whispered, 'I am too young,' And then, 'I am old enough'; Wherefore I threw a penny To find out if I might love. 'Go and love, go and love, young man, If the lady be young and fair.' Ah, penny, brown penny, brown penny, I am looped in the loops of her hair. O love is the crooked thing, There is nobody wise enough To find out all that is in it, For he would be thinking of love Till the stars had run away And the shadows eaten the moon. Ah, penny, brown penny, brown penny, One cannot begin it too soon.
“ The Lady’s First Song” describes a woman’s experience of being in love
I turn round Like a dumb beast in a show. Neither know what I am Nor where I go, My language beaten Into one name; I am in love And that is my shame. What hurts the soul My soul adores, No better than a beast Upon all fours.
“ Down by the Salley Gardens” warns how lovers need to listen to each other
Down by the salley gardens My love and I did meet She passed the salley gardens With little snow-white feet. She bid me take love easy As the leaves grow on the tree But I, being young and foolish With her did not agree. In a field by the river My love and I did stand And on my leaning shoulder She laid her snow-white hand. She bid me take life easy As the grass grows on the weirs But I was young and foolish And now am full of tears.
“ No Second Troy” describes Yeats’ experience with lost love.
WHY should I blame her that she filled my days With misery, or that she would of late
Have taught to ignorant men most violent ways, Or hurled the little streets upon the great. Had they but courage equal to desire?
What could have made her peaceful with a mind That nobleness made simple as a fire,
With beauty like a tightened bow, a kind
That is not natural in an age like this,
Being high and solitary and most stern? Why, what could she have done, being what she is? Was there another Troy for her to burn?
Yeats, William Butler. The Collected Poems of W.B. Yeats . Ed. Richard J. Finneran. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1996.
"William Butler Yeats: Overview." Reference Guide to English Literature. Ed. D. L. Kirkpatrick. 2nd ed. Chicago: St. James Press, 1991. Literature Resources from Gale. Gale. FAIRFAX COUNTY PUBLIC LIBRARY. 28 Feb. 2009 http://go.galegroup.com/ps/start.do?p=LitRG&u=chan86036 .
Pound, Ezra. "The Later Yeats." Poetry. 4.11 (May 1914): 64-69. Rpt. in Twentieth-Century Literary Criticism. Ed. Paula Kepos. Vol. 31. Detroit: Gale Research, 1989. 64-69. Literature Resources from Gale. Gale. FAIRFAX COUNTY PUBLIC LIBRARY. 3 Mar. 2009 http://go.galegroup.com/ps/start.do?p=LitRG&u=chan86036 .
The Nobel Prize in Literature 1923 . Nobelprize.org. Retrieved on 28 February 2009. http://nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/literature/laureates/1923/yeats-bio.html .
"William Butler Yeats." LitFinder Contemporary Collection. Gale, Cengage Learning, 2007. Literature Resources from Gale. Gale. FAIRFAX COUNTY PUBLIC LIBRARY. 1 Mar. 2009 http://go.galegroup.com/ps/start.do?p=LitRG&u=chan86036 .
World Authors, 1900-1950 . Ed. Marvin Seymour-Smith, and Andrew C. Kimmens. New York: H.W. Wilson Company. 1996