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W.B. Yeats (Everyman's Poetry)

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Ireland's most influential poet, Yeats's poems express both powerful personal feelings and something of the whole human dilemma of the 20th century. Ireland's most influential poet, Yeats's poems express both powerful personal feelings and something of the whole human dilemma of the 20th century.


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Ireland's most influential poet, Yeats's poems express both powerful personal feelings and something of the whole human dilemma of the 20th century. Ireland's most influential poet, Yeats's poems express both powerful personal feelings and something of the whole human dilemma of the 20th century.

30 review for W.B. Yeats (Everyman's Poetry)

  1. 5 out of 5

    Richard S

    I’m in Sligo Ireland right and having picked up this lovely edition of Yeats poetry at Charlie Byrne’s in Galway read the whole thing last night. It has a pretty good introduction from William Tindall the Columbia professor. Yeats - you know reading his poems as a poet one is immediately aware of an unfathomable and inexplicable gulf in quality. Yeats doesn’t pick the cleverest words, most of the poems rhyme, and yet they have this incredible thing to them. His poem about the island of Innisfree I’m in Sligo Ireland right and having picked up this lovely edition of Yeats poetry at Charlie Byrne’s in Galway read the whole thing last night. It has a pretty good introduction from William Tindall the Columbia professor. Yeats - you know reading his poems as a poet one is immediately aware of an unfathomable and inexplicable gulf in quality. Yeats doesn’t pick the cleverest words, most of the poems rhyme, and yet they have this incredible thing to them. His poem about the island of Innisfree I’ve tried to write a poem like that but the best I’ve done is just miles away. How does he do it? Most of his poems “come out of air” so to speak, they don’t seem particularly based on a place or experience. Some have a mystical element or reference. Their greatness is sort of elusive, it’s there but hard to pinpoint. “Sailing to Byzantium” was the impetus for the name of a literary magazine I started in college. Also his poems are the text for one of my favorite classical music pieces, “The Curlew.” The Leda and Second Coming poems are classics but they really aren’t like the rest of his work. I was going to visit his grave and read “Under Ben Bulben” there, but it’s further than I thought. There’s a Yeats Museum across the street here maybe they have a tour. Yeats is of course recommended for all.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Lori

    I enjoyed some poems better than others. I listened to this in an audio format, read by T. P. McKenna. It was my first time to listen to poetry in the audiobook format, and I found it more difficult to follow than poems in print. I think a longer pause between poems would help transition from one to the other a bit better. I tend to listen to audiobooks while driving, and distractions caused by traffic which don't cause one to lose much when listening to a novel create a bigger challenge in audi I enjoyed some poems better than others. I listened to this in an audio format, read by T. P. McKenna. It was my first time to listen to poetry in the audiobook format, and I found it more difficult to follow than poems in print. I think a longer pause between poems would help transition from one to the other a bit better. I tend to listen to audiobooks while driving, and distractions caused by traffic which don't cause one to lose much when listening to a novel create a bigger challenge in audio format. The narrator's voice reminded me of that of a stodgy old English professor.

  3. 5 out of 5

    finn

    not the usual type of poetry i'd pick up. folktales & legends are nottttt really my jam but nonetheless these are still some pretty neat sometimes very fantastical collection of poems. lol i have no idea who yeats is referring to half the time here but these poems, which read almost like epic little stories really, still managed to be quite interesting. some great storytelling with some of them too hello? not too much of a review here, so i'll just dump my favorite poems: -ephemera -the lake isle not the usual type of poetry i'd pick up. folktales & legends are nottttt really my jam but nonetheless these are still some pretty neat sometimes very fantastical collection of poems. lol i have no idea who yeats is referring to half the time here but these poems, which read almost like epic little stories really, still managed to be quite interesting. some great storytelling with some of them too hello? not too much of a review here, so i'll just dump my favorite poems: -ephemera -the lake isle of innisfree -when you are old - the lamentation of the old pensioner - he bids his beloved be at peace - he tells of the perfect beauty - he tells a valley full of lovers - he wishes for the cloths of heaven (so many he's! goddamn!) - adam's curse - o do not love too long - reconciliation - brown penny - to a child dancing in the wind - a memory of youth

  4. 5 out of 5

    Laurel Hicks

    Such beauty!

  5. 4 out of 5

    Colby Holloway

    I struggle with poetry, it’s not that I don’t enjoy the imagery, but I think my expectations are too high, I am not one easily swept away by slant rhyme. That being said Yeats had some lines which caught me, for reasons I cannot supply. Here are some I wrote down and find satisfaction upon regrading again and again. Seek then No learning from the starry men, Who follow with the optic glass The whirling ways of stars that pass I have spread my dreams under your feet; Tread softly because you tread on my I struggle with poetry, it’s not that I don’t enjoy the imagery, but I think my expectations are too high, I am not one easily swept away by slant rhyme. That being said Yeats had some lines which caught me, for reasons I cannot supply. Here are some I wrote down and find satisfaction upon regrading again and again. Seek then No learning from the starry men, Who follow with the optic glass The whirling ways of stars that pass I have spread my dreams under your feet; Tread softly because you tread on my dreams That I who had sat, Dumbfounded before a knave, Should give my friend A pretense of wit But I, whose virtues are the definitions Of the analytic mind, can neither close The eye of the mind nor keep my tongue from speech That twenty centuries of stony sleep We’re vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle And what dough beast, it’s hour come round at last, Slouches toward Bethlehem to be born But louder sang the ghost, ‘what then?’

  6. 4 out of 5

    Madison Hogg

    This book took me nearly half a year, and it was worth it. Yeat’s poetry is achingly beautiful and often surprisingly humorous. I found the later poems in this collection particularly enjoyable. “What beauty like a tightened bow, a kind That is not natural in an age like this... Why what could she have done, being what she is? Was there another Troy for her to burn?”

  7. 5 out of 5

    Zach

    The best lack all conviction, while the worst Are full of passionate intensity. While some of the poems are a little too sing-songy for my liking - that is, I'm not the biggest fan of his super rhyme- and syllable-driven work - many are absolutely stunning. Poems about love and dreams, mysticism and myths--right up my alley. I would love to do a full review but do not currently have the time. For now, I'll just list some of my favourites: - The Song of the Happy Shepherd - The Man who Dreamed of Fa The best lack all conviction, while the worst Are full of passionate intensity. While some of the poems are a little too sing-songy for my liking - that is, I'm not the biggest fan of his super rhyme- and syllable-driven work - many are absolutely stunning. Poems about love and dreams, mysticism and myths--right up my alley. I would love to do a full review but do not currently have the time. For now, I'll just list some of my favourites: - The Song of the Happy Shepherd - The Man who Dreamed of Faeryland - The Lamentation of the Old Pensioner - To Ireland in the Coming Times - The Host of the Air - Into the Twilight - He wishes for the Cloths of Heaven - The Travail of Passion - In the Seven Woods - The Old Age of Queen Maeve - Baile and Ailinn - Words - King and No King - These are the Clouds - The Two Kings - Fallen Majesty - Friends - The Cold Heaven - That the Night Come - Solomon to Sheba - The Hawk - Ego Dominus Tuss - Solomon and the Witch - The Leaders of the Crowd - The Second Coming - A Prayer for my Daughter A thought on the world today: My mind, because the minds that I have loved, The sort of beauty that I have approved, Prosper but little, has dried up of late, Yet knows that to be choked with hate May well be of all evil chances chief.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Dave

    I don't have nearly enough background to deal with or adjudicate this collection. Things started to pick up for me with The Wild Swans at Coole and never looked backed. I didn't "get" many of the poems that dealt with Irish mythology, and I just didn't have the time to google each name associated with the various Irish rebellions. Someday. Lyrically, each poem was beautiful, sometimes quirky, and always oozing (sorry, but it's the best word) with subtext and emotion. In the uncollected poems tow I don't have nearly enough background to deal with or adjudicate this collection. Things started to pick up for me with The Wild Swans at Coole and never looked backed. I didn't "get" many of the poems that dealt with Irish mythology, and I just didn't have the time to google each name associated with the various Irish rebellions. Someday. Lyrically, each poem was beautiful, sometimes quirky, and always oozing (sorry, but it's the best word) with subtext and emotion. In the uncollected poems toward the end, I was often disturbed by the thoughts coming from Yeats' pen. But then, so was he.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Ginny_1807

    When you are old When you are old and grey and full of sleep, And nodding by the fire, take down this book, And slowly read, and dream of the soft look Your 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 bars, Murmur, a little sadly, how Love fled And paced upon the mountains overhead And h When you are old When you are old and grey and full of sleep, And nodding by the fire, take down this book, And slowly read, and dream of the soft look Your 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 bars, Murmur, a little sadly, how Love fled And paced upon the mountains overhead And hid his face amid a crowd of stars.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Brendan Linwood

    Simply a wonderful introduction to the work of one of my absolute favourite poets. My copy will likely fall apart with rereading in years to come.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Ray

    Meh. To be fair, I'm not immersed in the poetry scene, so I could be missing some of the appeal. Also fair: more than one poem read race fetish-y. Yeats is spectacular with imagery - I know I have more than a few highlighted passages. There were also a number of poems I reread four or five times before carrying on with the rest of the book. That wonderment diminished when poverty and race were mentioned. Apparently, poor people are funny and exoticizing anyone who isn't Yeats Himself™️ is his side Meh. To be fair, I'm not immersed in the poetry scene, so I could be missing some of the appeal. Also fair: more than one poem read race fetish-y. Yeats is spectacular with imagery - I know I have more than a few highlighted passages. There were also a number of poems I reread four or five times before carrying on with the rest of the book. That wonderment diminished when poverty and race were mentioned. Apparently, poor people are funny and exoticizing anyone who isn't Yeats Himself™️ is his side hobby? Meanwhile, women were either disparaged, idolized, or a funky fresh two-in-one combo. Eugh.... Anyways, read it if you want - some of these poems are definitely worth the effort, but be prepared for everything else. Maybe just look up some of his greatest hits instead of this whole album, you feel? I'm going to take a shower and focus on modern poetry for a while.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Jonathan

    8/10 “Think where mans glory begins and ends, and say my glory was I had such friends.” “Though leaves are many, the root is one.” “I only ask which way my journey lies, for he who made you bitter made you wise.” “My contemplation turns on time, which has transfigured me.” “The wrong of unshapely things is a wrong to great to be told, I hunger to build them anew.” “But I, being poor, have only my dreams. I have spread my dreams under your feet tread softly, for you tread on my dreams.” “Who could have 8/10 “Think where mans glory begins and ends, and say my glory was I had such friends.” “Though leaves are many, the root is one.” “I only ask which way my journey lies, for he who made you bitter made you wise.” “My contemplation turns on time, which has transfigured me.” “The wrong of unshapely things is a wrong to great to be told, I hunger to build them anew.” “But I, being poor, have only my dreams. I have spread my dreams under your feet tread softly, for you tread on my dreams.” “Who could have foretold that the heart grows old.” “To long a sacrifice can make a stone of the heart. Oh, when will it suffice?” “That is no country for old men.” I've been meaning to read more poetry this year. This reminded me of why. This is good.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Bernie

    My rating is based on my taste in poetry. This book gives a selection of Yeats's poetry throughout his career under a selection of themes. My preference has to be the poems based on nature and mysticism. After reading many of his poems which were of current affairs within his lifetime I wished I had a better knowledge of Irish history. There is a sense of humor in some of his early work but as he got older the themes dwell on old age, his talent, memories of the past and questioning the relevanc My rating is based on my taste in poetry. This book gives a selection of Yeats's poetry throughout his career under a selection of themes. My preference has to be the poems based on nature and mysticism. After reading many of his poems which were of current affairs within his lifetime I wished I had a better knowledge of Irish history. There is a sense of humor in some of his early work but as he got older the themes dwell on old age, his talent, memories of the past and questioning the relevance of participation of his friends in the revolution. After reading this book I have a better sense of the Celtic Revival and the mindset of this great Irish poet.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Zeph

    May 2021: 3 Stars Super hit or miss for me. I used post-its to highlight the poems that struck a chord with me, and I've counted eleven such post-its. I think I would have enjoyed Yeats's poems more thoroughly if I'd been analyzing them with a group. Alone, I found myself just getting annoyed with all his non-rhymes (like rhyming "move" with "love", etc.). The uneven cadences also were more distracting than anything for me- anytime I was pulled out of the scene Yeats had set, it was because the r May 2021: 3 Stars Super hit or miss for me. I used post-its to highlight the poems that struck a chord with me, and I've counted eleven such post-its. I think I would have enjoyed Yeats's poems more thoroughly if I'd been analyzing them with a group. Alone, I found myself just getting annoyed with all his non-rhymes (like rhyming "move" with "love", etc.). The uneven cadences also were more distracting than anything for me- anytime I was pulled out of the scene Yeats had set, it was because the rhythm was suddenly off for some reason. Anyway, I did find some nice gems in this book, and I'm glad to be more well-acquainted with his poetry now!

  15. 4 out of 5

    Laura

    Reading a full book of poetry by the same poet really gave me an insight into how Yeats’ poetry is constructed. I found it fascinating how his poetry seems to embody many of the features of Romantic poetry - beautiful imagery, an appreciation for nature, a focus on the relationship between the world and the individual - whilst also having modernist features. Several poems in the collection also focused on WW1 (one of my favourites was ‘On Being Asked for a War Poem’) and it really did feel like Reading a full book of poetry by the same poet really gave me an insight into how Yeats’ poetry is constructed. I found it fascinating how his poetry seems to embody many of the features of Romantic poetry - beautiful imagery, an appreciation for nature, a focus on the relationship between the world and the individual - whilst also having modernist features. Several poems in the collection also focused on WW1 (one of my favourites was ‘On Being Asked for a War Poem’) and it really did feel like a wonderful insight into the transition between Romanticism and modernism. It was also a powerful reminder that neither period is as disconnected from our present as it might be tempting to presume!

  16. 4 out of 5

    Nikki

    "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 "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?" - No Second Troy

  17. 4 out of 5

    KYLE MILLER

    Well, what's there to say about the best works of the foremost poet of the twentieth century? His earliest works are slowly paced and lyrical and he was fascinated by Irish legends and the occult. As he aged his poetry became more physical in nature -- more realistic -- focusing on the cyclical nature of life, though he remained interested in the spiritual throughout his life. Well, what's there to say about the best works of the foremost poet of the twentieth century? His earliest works are slowly paced and lyrical and he was fascinated by Irish legends and the occult. As he aged his poetry became more physical in nature -- more realistic -- focusing on the cyclical nature of life, though he remained interested in the spiritual throughout his life.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Katie

    Before us lies eternity; our souls / Are love, and a continual farewell. I have spread my dreams under your feet; / Tread softly because you tread on my dreams. For everything that’s lovely is / But a brief, dreamy, kind delight. “Were not all her life but storm, / Would not painters paint a form / Of such noble lines,” I said, / “Such a delicate high head, / All that sternness amid charm, / All that sweetness amid strength” These are the clouds about the fallen sun, / The majesty that shuts his bur Before us lies eternity; our souls / Are love, and a continual farewell. I have spread my dreams under your feet; / Tread softly because you tread on my dreams. For everything that’s lovely is / But a brief, dreamy, kind delight. “Were not all her life but storm, / Would not painters paint a form / Of such noble lines,” I said, / “Such a delicate high head, / All that sternness amid charm, / All that sweetness amid strength” These are the clouds about the fallen sun, / The majesty that shuts his burning eye: / The weak lay hand to what the strong has done, / Till that be tumbled that was lifted high. She lived in storm and strife / Her soul had such desire / For what proud death may bring / That it could not endure / The common good of life.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Christopher Villiers

    This is a brilliant collection of Yeats's poems, well edited with a valuable introduction to the poet and his work and a fine set of notes. This is the definitive edition of the collected poems. This is a brilliant collection of Yeats's poems, well edited with a valuable introduction to the poet and his work and a fine set of notes. This is the definitive edition of the collected poems.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Sophie

    Loved it. My favourite is: The cap and bells

  21. 4 out of 5

    Eamonn O'Sullivan

    Outstanding

  22. 4 out of 5

    Shaun Deane

    Of course, will return, frequently.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Luke

    Favorite poems: 1.) Into the Twilight 2.) When You are Old 3.) The Lamentation of the Old Pensioner

  24. 4 out of 5

    Cora

    4/1/2 stars! Wow, I can see why Yeats is held in such high esteem by other poets.

  25. 4 out of 5

    -Amelia-

    we get it dude you REALLY like maude gone

  26. 5 out of 5

    Jonathon Moore

    To woo the woman I love favorite poet

  27. 5 out of 5

    Tara

    W.B Yeats' poetry is focused on magical and ethereal elements, he often interconnects mythology with deep personal feelings (especially feelings of love or loss, which are my favourite). What I love about his poetry is that it's like you've just taken a trip into the woods, or spoken to a friend, or professed to a lover. He uses language in a very moving way that makes it easy to fall into the poem and place yourself in the setting or in the words. "When you are old and grey and full of sleep, An W.B Yeats' poetry is focused on magical and ethereal elements, he often interconnects mythology with deep personal feelings (especially feelings of love or loss, which are my favourite). What I love about his poetry is that it's like you've just taken a trip into the woods, or spoken to a friend, or professed to a lover. He uses language in a very moving way that makes it easy to fall into the poem and place yourself in the setting or in the words. "When you are old and grey and full of sleep, And nodding by the fire, take down this book, And slowly read, and dream of the soft look Your 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 bars, Murmur, a little sadly, how Love fled And paced upon the mountains overhead And hid his face amid a crowd of stars" When You Are Old is my favourite poem of his because it gives a very warm and melancholic feeling which is great if you need a sort-of cheer up or a boost of faith in society. Yeats details the nostalgic journey of a woman who has lost her lover, and is now growing old reminiscing about the days before. The magical element, I feel, is added not so much in the poem but in the feeling it leaves you. The poets that include these kinds of components are undoubtedly the best, and W.B Yeats is a master.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Emily Burditt

    I skimmed much of it, but there were poems that stuck out to me and even annotated, which made me feel like a proper intellectual. My favorites are “The Brown Penny” and “The Rose of Peace”. Felt the whole collection to be a little too tedious, but for those few that I enjoyed, a full five stars. ❤️

  29. 5 out of 5

    Miki

    This is part of the regional reading I'm doing because I'm staying in county Roscommon at the moment. County Roscommon is next to (south of) county Sligo: Yeats' country. It's beautiful in Roscommon, and Sligo is the nearest bustling town to where I'm hiding. This collection was very enjoyable to read. You get faeries, nature, history, love poems, and politics. These poems evoke a whole range of emotions. If you don't know of his history with Maud Gonne, then be warned that there are quite a few This is part of the regional reading I'm doing because I'm staying in county Roscommon at the moment. County Roscommon is next to (south of) county Sligo: Yeats' country. It's beautiful in Roscommon, and Sligo is the nearest bustling town to where I'm hiding. This collection was very enjoyable to read. You get faeries, nature, history, love poems, and politics. These poems evoke a whole range of emotions. If you don't know of his history with Maud Gonne, then be warned that there are quite a few poems dedicated to her and his love for her. Yeats's rhythm and meter aren't always consistent in one poem: "O little did they care who danced between, And little she by whom her dance was seen So she danced. No thought, Body perfection brought." ('The Double Vision of Michael Robartes', 180) Nor are the rhymes: "Whereby the haystack - and roof-leveling wind, Bred on the Atlantic, can be stayed; And for an hour I have walked and prayed Because of the great gloom that is in my mind." ('A Prayer for my Daughter', 198) What bothered me most was that a lot of poems focus on beauty, especially those poems that include women. I realize that he discusses beauty as he references art, but beauty is relevant in about two thirds of the compilation ('When You are Old', 37, 'The Old Age of Queen Maeve' 72, 'The Arrow', 85 'Adam's Curse', 86, 'Under the Moon', 89, 'Michael Robartes and the Dancer', 182, 'Prayer for My Daughter', 198, etc...). There must be other ways to discuss art and women. Yeats is creative, so I find it difficult to believe that he couldn't have come up with more interesting and unique ways to discuss art and women. That being said, what I love are his own hyphenated adjectives and the way that he repeats phrases at the ends of stanzas of the incredible tales he tells, such as 'The Stolen Child' (23), 'September 1913' (122) and 'The Curse of Cromwell' (206). Some fantastic hyphenated adjectives that he has created are cloud-pale eyelids and dream-dimmed eyes (66), lute-thronged angelic door and death-pale hope (70), fool-driven land (108), war-wasted men (114) and the cut-throat north (143). It's very easy to get lost in Yeats's poems. They are lyrical, engrossing, and emotionally-charged. I would highly recommend his poetry to all readers-especially those who don't "get" poetry. Yeats is accessible. Some of my favourite poems are, 'The Cloak, the Boat, and the Shoes' (13), 'Ephemera' (19), 'The Madness of King Goll' (20), 'Never Give All the Heart' (92), 'Words' (94), 'Reconciliation' (96), 'King and No King' (97), 'Brown Penny' (109), 'To a Child Dancing in the Wind' (142), 'That the Night Come' (148), 'The Magi' (149), 'A Coat' (150), 'The Wild Swans at Coole' (151), 'An Irishman Foresees his Death' (153), 'The Cat and the Moon' (174), 'Michael Robartes and the Dancer' (182) and 'Are you Content?' (218). My partner bought me this book for Christmas. He purchased it from Libre in Sligo.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Liam Guilar

    This is an excellent book; as Ellmann says in his Foreword:"MacNeice's book on Yeats is still as good an introduction to that poet as we have, with the added introduction that it is also an introduction to MacNeice." What makes it so good as a discussion of all of Yeats' work is MacNeice's obvious and explicit ambivalence. On the one hand, he admits 'If I were making a general anthology of shorter English poems , I would want to include some sixty poems by W.B.Yeats. there is no other poet in the This is an excellent book; as Ellmann says in his Foreword:"MacNeice's book on Yeats is still as good an introduction to that poet as we have, with the added introduction that it is also an introduction to MacNeice." What makes it so good as a discussion of all of Yeats' work is MacNeice's obvious and explicit ambivalence. On the one hand, he admits 'If I were making a general anthology of shorter English poems , I would want to include some sixty poems by W.B.Yeats. there is no other poet in the language from whom I should chose so many." On the other, there is so much about Yeats that MacNeice distrusts or dislikes: Politically they were light years apart. Their attitudes to the world and the people in it, and even their attitudes to art are dissimilar. Even as Irishmen they came from radically different backgrounds and though both of them spent a lot of their time in England, their attitudes towards Ireland were very different. Because MacNeice keeps both attitudes open, and open to challenge and investigation, his criticism has a clarity and charity lacking in a lot of other discussions. Written in the 1940s, it is also eerily prescient....the 30s had bought the ideologically committed poet and critic into the foreground, just as the 1980s bought the ideological critics back out in force. MacNeice, though often lumped with the left leaning, insists on making distinctions between this case and that, between this poem and that one. It's a model of criticism that isn't often followed. There's a lot in this book that gets picked up by later critics: but some things have dropped away. These days "everybody" knows that Pound modernised Yeats. This has always seemed a dubious claim. MacNeice traces the change in style to a number of features which sound far more probable including Synge and the Abbey. There are numerous other introductions to Yeats, but this was one of the first and still a good place to start.

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