Selected Poems (Poetry)

ISBN: 0517206021
ISBN 13: 9780517206027
By: W.B. Yeats

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20th Century Classics Currently Reading Default Favorites Ireland Irish Literature Poetry To Read

Reader's Thoughts

h

i haven't read a big chunk of yeats ever, just a few poems here and there in anthologies or for school. the feel of his work is different when taken this way. the rhythm of his writing is really stunning -- something to aspire to, although i doubt i could ever have his metrical command. one of my favorite snippets is the phrase "converse bone to bone."

Bethan

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 feeling like he'd deeply touched me and got to my heart (like Paul Verlaine) or said something amazing (like Baudelaire). Maybe I just expected more of this poet that is so routinely hailed as one of the greatest, in this English-language country, and I need to go back and spend more time with his poetry. Well, I see it; I just don't feel or think it.

Kit Schooley

Haven't read Yeats for 40 years. Having been to Ireland, he knows how to writeof the tragedy that is Ireland. Dense, difficult and at times, rewarding.

Ladypoet33

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 more can I say? The poem speaks for itself of that longing for freedom from government.

Elizabeth Fitzgerald

I enjoyed the first poems but the further I went into the volume the harder they were to understand and I found them rather inaccessible. I don't know a whole lot about Yeats and I think I would have preferred a volume with more annotation and commentary.

PastAllReason

A collection selected by Seamus Heaney with an excellent introduction written by Heaney about Yeats and his poetry. The collection includes all of my favourites by Yeats, and a few I hadn't previously read.

Milica

the magic is lost in translation

Joyce

This collection of Yeats' poetry, stopping at the year 1914, omits some of his major works. The title should clarify the limitation of years since he really reached his peak as a poet after WWI

Leslie

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.

Ingrid Hansen

I'm not a great poems reader or lover, but a very friendly irish bookseller told med I had to read this if I wanted to read something by an irish writer when I visited Dublin in June 2012.It has taken me a long time time to get through this book but there is a beauty to the poems that touches you and that is the most important thing to me when I try to undestand what Yeats i writing about.

Joanna Paterson

I picked this up and dipped into it while on holiday in Ireland - I couldn't claim to have 'read' it though I'm not sure you ever completely read a book of poems though.I enjoyed the poems I discovered through this selection and can see there are some I want to return to. Some of the poems about Ireland helped to enrich my understanding of some of the issues of Irish history that I was learning about while travelling in and visiting the country

Laura Esther Rivers

This was a strange one for me...very 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 himself...but he failed.

Rikke

"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. The poems are so lyrically and melodically composed they in some ways can resemble the traditional Irish folksongs. I have settled upon a rating of 4 stars, as I do love Yeats and his fairytale-like poetry, which will draw you in and transport you to a long lost time of fairies, mermaids, unicorns and true magic. To read his poems is to feel a wave of blissful harmony wash over your mind and bury your troubles in a deep blue sea of ignorance."But I, being poor, have only my dreams;I have spread my dreams under your feet;Tread softly because you tread on my dreams."

Tracy

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 Wikipedia 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 Byzantium and Byzantium. Oh the poem and book? It was from The Wind Among the Reeds. It's mentions in An Evening of Long Goodbyes for the quote that I can't find this moment, but it's something like, The shape of ugly things is too awful to talk about (?)

Felix Purat

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 more 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 typing style "classic" poetry often finds itself.

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