Selected Poetry

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

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

Reader's Thoughts

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.

Carolyn

Before visiting Ireland last year, I read a book of Irish verse. And there's a lot of it... the Irish write poetry like they drink whiskey. However, one poet stands out beyond the others. Yeats is one of the world's exemplars of modernism. His poems transcended the Irish landscape, history, and folklore that gave birth to them. He was prolific, and there's plenty of early dreck, so I recommend the Selected Poems for the best examples.

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.

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.

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.

Elizabeth

Read many of these poems before in different classes. . . taking Irish Lit. this semester so needing to revisit them! Don't really like poetry so i can't rate this book but I do LOVE the symbolism he incorporates in his poetry(having to do with Irish history. . .)These are my favorites The Second Coming Easter 1916(not in this book but my favorite yeats poem!) Setpember 1913No Second Troy When you are old The Lake Isle of Innisfree.

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.

Patrick

William Butler Yeats, the first Irishman to win the Nobel Prize for Literature, is not only one of the greatest poets of the 20th century but one of the most widely read. The landscape, myths, legends, and folklore of his homeland lie at the heart of his poetic imagination, and the unique musicality of Ireland adds to the richness of his verse. But the themes of his poetry are universal and timeless: the conflict between life and death, love and hate, and the meaning of man’s existence in an imperfect world.This collection includes such favorites as “The Lake Isle of Innisfree” and “When You Are Old”, as well as two of his longer narrative works, “The Old Age of Queen Maeve” and “Baile and Aillinn”. It traces the poet’s artistry from his early days as a dreamy, late-romantic poet into one of the most individual and visionary voices of 20th-century verse.

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.

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.

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

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 (?)

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."

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.

Milica

the magic is lost in translation

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