Selected Poetry

ISBN: 033031520X
ISBN 13: 9780330315203
By: W.B. Yeats A. Norman Jeffares

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Reader's Thoughts

Milica

the magic is lost in translation

Matt

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 merit. Perhaps with further study I could come to see the genius of all the poems in this book, but as it stands, I didn't think most of it was great. When at his best, there are some incredible poems here. More often, the poetry is fine, but not extraordinary. Its inconsistent, to me.

Kathleen

I can't pretend I understand all the imagery and mythological references, but there are some poems like "I will arise and go to Innisfree" that I just can't get away from. Even what I don't understand is beautiful and touches a part of my soul.

Eleanor

One of the women I sing with is composing one of Yeats' poem, "Mother of God" for our choir, and I was so moved by the text that I thought I best read some of his other stuff. No real review yet, as I haven't actually had a chance to read any of the poetry, save a few things while I was sitting on the floor in Half-Price Books.

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.

Thetravelingpanda

Very beautiful poems. I don't think I got all the reference to the folklore but it was still comprehensible. I enjoyed reading free verses as Yeats wrote them, it varies from poem to poem and its stunning to see the results.

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.

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."

Martin Davies

What has always struck me about Yeats is how reality and surrealism mix in his poetry: his poetry hangs between the perceivable world of phenomena and the natural world and the world f dreams and the subconscious on the other hand; the two mix in a solution which only Yeats can give us. This makes Yeats difficult to understand, of course: his poems cannot be understood at first reading, not at least form me; they require careful study, sometimes they even escape analysis, you need to put them down and come back to them at a later stage, but, boy, when you crack one of his poems it is as if a whole new world opened its doors to you. Utter genius.

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.

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.

Cns

A fantastic edition--the Faber 80th anniversary poetry books--but the poems are a bit complex for me, as I don't have a degree in Irish history. "The Second Coming" will always be my favorite thanks to Stephen King, but "The Wild Swans at Coole" is haunting in a different way--especially as I get older. It's worth stumbling through some Irish history to get to these treasures.

Joan

Couldn't decide how many stars to give this collection of poems. Some of them I really liked, and a few I didn't like at all. Most were good, so I gave it a 3.

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

Ken Hicks

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 differently on that subject.

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