Selected Poetry

ISBN: 0330241990
ISBN 13: 9780330241991
By: W.B. Yeats Alexander Norman Jeffares

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

Reader's Thoughts

lauren

favorite. poet. ever.i blame it all on the second coming.but oh godthat last stanza gives me chills every time i read it. or write it. or think it. such amazing imagery, such beautiful words.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Milica

the magic is lost in translation

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Anna

I bought this about five years ago for a project and have just now gotten around to reading it. I started it feeling very excited - Yeats is so lyrical and imaginative and so obviously enamored with nature and myths. His poetry is so beautiful. But I think as I continued through the book, I found it harder to understand a lot of his poems. Many of them seemed to go all over the place or refer to myths and gods I am unfamiliar with. It made reading the poetry more like a chore. All in all, the poems I loved, I REALLY loved. The poems I didn't so much care for were more because I failed to understand them, and I never like putting a whole lot of effort into understanding poetry.-Favourite Poems-"The Cloak, The Boat, and The Shoes""The Indian Upon God""Ephemera""The Rose of Peace""The Host of the Air""The Song of Wandering Aengus""To a Poet, Who Would Have Me Praise Certain Bad Poets, Imitators of His and Mine""A Lyric from An Unpublished Play""To a Child Dancing in the Wind""Fallen Majesty"

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.

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.

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