William Butler Yeats The Great English Literature

Life Introduction of Yeats  

William Butler Yeats was a famous Irish poet, dramatist and prose writer. Yeats made important contributions to both English and Irish literature with his writings. He was the first Irishman to get the Nobel Prize in literature.

William Butler Yeats was born on June 13, 1865 in Dublin, Ireland to John Butler and Susan Pollexfen. His brother jack Butler Yeats was a famous Painter and Ireland’s first Olympic medalist. His two sisters, Elizabeth and Susan Mary, were both involved in the Arts and Crafts movement of the 1880s.

Yeats School Life and Family Background

Being the son of a prominent portrait painter, he also took an interest in literature and poetry from a very young age. He was home schooled by his father. He learned Literature and Classics which became the base for his writing.

His writing is a blend of aestheticism and atheism, based on the idea that there is no God. Yet, Yeats was always interested in magic and supernatural concepts. In 1867, his family moved to London when he was only two.

 He attended the Godolphin School for four years. His family again moved to Dublin in 1880. There, he completes his high school education. Later, he went to the Metropolitan School of Art.

College Life of Yeats and Career

In 188, his family returned to London where Yeats decided to pursue writing as a career. Yeats’ two shorts lyrics published in the Dublin University Review in 1885. Yeats co-founded the Rhymers’Club along with English writer Ernest Rhys in 1890 in 1890.

The club released two collections of poetries between 1892 and 1894. It included many prominent London-based poets. The group was popularly known as the tragic Generation. He met Mood Gonne who was a supporter of Irish independence.

She became a muse for him. He proposed marriage to her several times, but she turned him down every time. He dedicated his 1892 verse drama, The Countess Cathleen, to her.

First Collection of Poems

Yeats joined the Order of the Golden Dawn, an organization that explored topics related to the occult and mysticism. In 1889, he published his first collection of poem called The Wanderings of Oisin and Other Poems.

The little poem was about a mythic Irish hero. With this work, Yeats immediately caught the attention of the public. Yeast’s poem was highly inspired by Irish traditions and spiritualism.

He used to spend a lot of time with his grandparents in Sligo, Ireland. In his early days, he was highly inspired by the scenery and legends of the place where he grew up which had an impact on his poetry. As a kid, he enjoyed reading other people’s works like P.B Shelley’s, and later on William Blake’s.

Published his Volumes of Poetry

Yeats published numerous volumes of Poetry during the year 1895. His poem The Wind Among the reeds (1899) was inspired by folktales and legends. He published multiple collections of his works like In the Seven Woods in 1903 and The Green Helmet in 1910. From 1909, there was an essential change in Yeast’s poetry.

His next work Poems and a Play (1914), showed a new directness. He introduced the reality and its fawns with great imagination. In the meantime, he became a member of The Ghost Club, a paranormal investigation and research organization started in 1911.

Founded Abbey Theater in Dublin by Yeats

Yeats co-founded the Abbey Theater in Dublin. He was the leading member of the Irish Literary Revival movement. Their primary focus was to create interest in Ireland’s heritage and the growth of Irish nationalism. The National Theater of Ireland was opened in 1904.

It became the flagship for young talent in the country. Yeats worked as a playwright for the theatre. Some of this famous plays written during this time were The Land of Heart’s Desire (1894), Cathleen Houlihan (1902), The Countess Cathleen (1911) and The Resurrection (1927).

Yeats Married Life and Future

Yeats got married to Georgie Hyde-Lees in 1917 at a public registry office. The marriage was a happy one and they had two children. After he established himself as a writer, he started to experiments with ‘automatic writing’, also known as ‘spirit writing’.

It involved creating written works without consciously writing, thus attributing wring, thus attributing the works to a subconscious or spiritual source. 

Achievements of W.B.Yeats

Yeats was a devoted Irish Nationalist and in 1922 became a member of the new Irish Senate. He also served as a senator for six years till his retirement. Yeats became the first Irish writer to receive a Novel laureate in literature in 1923. He died ohm January 28, 1939 in France at the age of 74 due to ill health.         

Some Great Poems of Yeats Here Are Few

‘Leda and the Swan’.

‘Death’.

‘The Second Coming’.

‘He Wishes for the Cloths of Heaven’.

‘Long-Legged Fly’.

‘An Irish Airman Foresees His Death’.

‘Sailing to Byzantium’.

‘Easter 1916’.