The Collected Poems

ISBN: 0684807319
ISBN 13: 9780684807317
By: W.B. Yeats Richard J. Finneran

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About this book

The Collected Poems of W. B. Yeats includes all of the poems authorized by Yeats for inclusion in his standard canon. Breathtaking in range, it encompasses the entire arc of his career, from luminous reworking of ancient Irish myths and legends to passionate meditations on the demands and rewards of youth and old age, from exquisite, occasionally whimsical songs of love, nature, and art to somber and angry poems of life in a nation torn by war and uprising. In observing the development of rich and recurring images and themes over the course of his body of work, we can trace the quest of this century's greatest poet to unite intellect and artistry in a single magnificent vision.Revised and corrected, this edition includes Yeat's own notes on his poetry, complemented by explanatory notes from esteemed Yeats scholar Richard J. Finneran. The Collected Poems of W. B. Yeats is the most comprehensive edition of one of the world's most beloved poets available in paperback.

Reader's Thoughts


My favorite poet, though he shares that spot with Eliot. This is the most comprehensive edition of his poems available in major bookstores, a fact that I can attest to after having to track it down twice after giving my copies away. Yeats' meditations on aging are by far my favorite - though most people are more familiar with him than they know - "The Second Coming" alone contains at least eight lines which developed lives of their own in 20th century media.


My favourite piece of Yeats, which I've known since I was a teenager. I've never really figured out what it means, but I think it's wonderful all the same:Rose of all Roses, Rose of all the World! You, too, have come where the dim tides are hurled Upon the wharves of sorrow, and heard ring The bell that calls us on; the sweet far thing. Beauty grown sad with its eternity Made you of us, and of the dim grey sea. Our long ships loose thought-woven sails and wait, For God has bid them share an equal fate; And when at last defeated in His wars, They have gone down under the same white stars, We shall no longer hear the little cry Of our sad hearts, that may not live nor die.

John Doe

I told my friend Nichole yesterday that I wasn't planning to live a long life. She said, "Why do you say that?" And I mumbled something about rock stars and creative people. But, I feel that I can become an old man when I read Yeats. This is a favorite:When You are OldWHEN you are old and gray and full of sleep And nodding by the fire, take down this book, And slowly read, and dream of the soft look Your eyes had once, and of their shadows deep; How many loved your moments of glad grace, And loved your beauty with love false or true; But one man loved the pilgrim soul in you, And loved the sorrows of your changing face. And bending down beside the glowing bars, Murmur, a little sadly, how love fled And paced upon the mountains overhead, And hid his face amid a crowd of stars. W.B. Yeats

Kathryn Bashaar

I am trying to read the great Irish writers before we go to Ireland in 2014. I will probably not read every single poem in this book. Instead, I will browse it over the next few months, and keep a running list of the poems I like best. I can already see that Yeats was an inspiration for Mary Oliver, a modern poet I like very much. Favorite so far: The Wild Swans at CooleOthers I've liked:Prayer For My DaughterWhy Should Not Old Men Be Mad?And one which is surprisingly not included in this anthology but which I read in in anotheranthology:My Fiftieth YearI notice Yeats has a really hard time with aging when he hits his 60s. He describes living in his body as being "tied to a dying animal." I'm in my late 50s and don't feel that way at all yet. I still love living in a human body. But I must say it is dismaying when the body doesn't look as good as it used to and can no longer do all the things it used to. In the past month I've read about 20 poems. Some I liked, some I loved, some meant nothing to me. Overall, glad I dipped into this and may dip into it a little more right before we go to Ireland


I discovered Years last year during a university English unit. I am not a big fan of poetry but something about Yeats really resonated with me.


What can one say about William Butler Yeats accept that he was an amazing poet! He is a true inspiration to anyone who longs to write from their heart, mind, and soul. My favorite poem of his is entitled "Sailing to Byzantium" and contains some of the greatest lines ever written in poetry. Here is just a snippet: THAT is no country for old men. The young In one another's arms, birds in the trees Those dying generations - at their song, The salmon-falls, the mackerel-crowded seas, Fish, flesh, or fowl, commend all summer long Whatever is begotten, born, and dies. Caught in that sensual music all neglect Monuments of unageing intellect. Read more and be absorbed!I took my time throughout the year to slip between the pages of this volume and travel where Yeats dared to take me.

Rosa Jamali

ییتس به فارسیبرگردان : رُزا جمالیدریا نوردی به سمت بیزانس1اینجا سرزمینی برای مردی پیر نیستجوانان در کنار هم اند و پرندگانی در درختاننسلی رو به مرگدر آوازهایشقزل آلایی که به زمین می افتد، دریاهایی از گورماهی هاگوشتی از ماهی یا ماکیان در تمامِ طول تابستان حکمرانی می کندآنچه به فرزندی پذیرفته شده است به دنیا می آید و می میردتمام آنچه که در آن موسیقی شهوانی نهفته است ، غفلت استبنایی تاریخی از خردی بی زمان.2مردی پیر که تحفه ای ناچیز استمگر لباسی ژنده آویخته بر عصاییروحی ست که دست می زند و آواز می خواند و بلندتر می خواندبر پارگی های لباس فانی اشو نه مدرسه ی آوازها که درس هایشبناهایی با عظمتی منحصر به خویشو پس من در دریاها رانده ام و به شهرِ مقدس بیزانس رسیده ام.3مریمی های ایستاده در آتش مقدس خداوندهمچنان که در کاشی طلائیِ رنگ دیوارهاکه از آتشِ مقدس می آید در روحی خبیثوآنها استادان آواز روح من بودندآنها قلب مرا به تحلیل می برندو با خواهش ها بیمار می کنندآنرا به جانوری رو به مرگ می بندندو او نمی داند که این چیست و مرا احاطه می کندو به نیرنگ ابدیت می برد.4زمانی بیرون از طبیعتمن هیچوقت شکل جسمانی ام را از طبیعت نخواهم گرفتاما این شکلی ست که طلاسازان یونانیاز کوبیدنِ طلا و لعابِ آن می سازندکه این امپراطورِ خواب آلوده را بیدار نگه دارندبه رویِ شاخه ی طلایی بگذارند که آواز بخواندبه زنان و مردان بیزانسکه چه گذشته است، در حالِ گذار است و یا خواهد آمد.صورتک هایی جدیداگر شما که پیر شده اید اولینِ مردگان بودیدنه درخت کاتالپا ونه زیزفون معطراگرپاهای زنده ام را بشنوند یا قدم هایم راجائیکه پرداخته ایم و دندانهای زمان را خرد خواهیم کردبگذار صورتک های جدید با ترفندهایی که خواهند داشت بازی کننددر اتاق هایی کهنه، شب می تواند بر روز پیشی بگیردسایه هامان در پرسه ای شن های باغ را سست می کنداین زیستن سایه وار تن ازآنهاست. چرخ زمانی که زمستان است بهار را فرا می خوانیمو در تمام طول بهار تابستان را می خوانیمانبوه حلقه های پرچیناعتراف می کنند که زمستان بهترین استهمه چیز خوب نیستچرا که بهار نیامده استکسی نمی داند که چه خون ما را می آزاردکه چیزی جز آرزوی گور نیست.لیدا و قوضربه ای به ناگهانبالهای بزرگ چه به هم می کوبندبر فرازِ سر لیدا که یله می رودقو ساق هایش را می نوازدبا شبکه هایی تاریکپسِ گردنِ لیدا گرفتار در منقار قوست.قو سینه ی بی پناه او را بر سینه اش می فشاردساق های مست و ولنگارشچه طور آن انگشت های مبهم ترسانشکوهِ بال و پرش را در خود می فشارد؟در آن هجومِ سفید رنگچه طورآن قلب عجیبجائیکه قرار می گیرد می تپد؟لرزه ای در کمرگاه آبستن اش کردهدیواری شکسته،سقفی و برجی سوزانو آگاممنون مرده استاینچنین پیچیده در هممقهور در خونِ سنگدل هوا،چه طور کوهِ دانایی اش قو را پس زد؟درست قبل از اینکه قو به زمین بیندازدش...بیزانستصویر ناگزیر روز کنار کشیده استسربازان مستِ امپراطور خواب اندضرباهنگ شب کنار می کشدپیادگان شب آواز سر دادندو بعد از ناقوس مقدس کلیسا چه کوچک است گنبدی که از ستارگان و ماه روشن استو تمام آن آدمی ستتمام آن پیچیدگی های محضخشم و باتلاقِ رگ های آدمی ست.پیش از من تصویری شناور بود؛ آدمی بود یا سایه؟سایه ای بیش از آدمی ، تصویری فراتر از سایهماسوره ای بر زمین که در لباس های مومیایی گرفتار استممکن است آن گذرگاه پیچاپیچ را باز کنید؟دهانی که در آن رطوبتی نیست، دم و بازدمی نیستدهانی که بی آه تو را می خواندکه من آنرا زندگی در مرگ ومرگ در زندگی نامیده ام.معجزه ای،پرنده ای یا ساخته ی دستی از طلامعجزه تر از آن پرنده ی مصنوعکه کاشته اندش آنجابر شاخه ی طلایی که از ستاره ها روشن استو او می تواند پرندگانِ نر بیشه ی هید را دوست بداردتا اینکه ماه بر او بتابدبی چیز بشماردشفلزی که بی هیچ تغییری می تابدپرنده ای یا گلبرگیو تمام پیچیدگی های آن خون یا باتلاق.نیمه شب ، پرنده ها از سنگفرشِ امپراطور پر می گیرندشعله ایست که هیزمی آن را تشکیل نداده استآتشی ست که هیچ فلزی آنرا روشن نکرده استو طوفانی خاموشش نخواهد کردزبانه ای که از زبانه های دیگر برآمده استودشواری خشم از آنجا رخت بر می بنددبه مرگی رسیده است در این رقصدر رنجی که رو به خواب استو در شعله ای که نمی تواند آستینی را بسوزاند.با پاهایی نیم گشوده ، بر دلفینی از باتلاق و خونارواح یکی پس از دیگری خوانده می شوندآهنگری ست که این سیلاب را می شکافد؛طلاکارانِ امپراطورتالارهایی رقصنده از مرمرهااین خشمِ تلخ را که دشوارست می شکافدتصویرها از تصویرهایی دیگر می زاینددلفینی تکه پارهاین زنگ ها برای دریا شکنجه ایست.تروایی دیگر نیستچرا باید سرزنش اش کنم که روزهایم را پر کرده استبا درماندگی یا آنچه این روزها می کندبه مردانی چشم بسته خشونت را می آموزدیا خیابان های کوچک را به شکلی بی نظیر جمع می کندجرات عاشق شدن دارند؟چه جور می تواند آسوده باشد؟در بزرگی به سادگی آتش استشبیه پاپیونی سفتطبیعی ست در این سنکه سر زنده و تنها و خشمگین باشی؛چرا ؛ مگر چه کار می توانست بکند با آنچه که هست؟تروای دیگری نبود که بسوزاندش؟آمدنی دوبارهمی چرخد و می چرخد در اشباحی که بزرگ می شوندقوشی که قوش بازش را نمی شناسدچیزها مسلسل از هم جدا می شوند ؛ مرکزی که ایستا نیستآشوبی که در جهان بر پاستتاریکی خونی که گشاد می شود و همه جاهستآئین بی گناهی غرق می شودمجرمی نیست که پست ترین آنها به شدت شهوانی ست.حتما ظهوری اتفاق خواهد افتادو حتما آمدنی دوباره خواهد بود اینآمدنی دوباره ! چه سخت است که کلمات به کاغذ در می آیندزمانی که تصویری پهناور از روح استچشمانم را تاریک می کند؛ جائی میان شن زارجسمی با بدن یک شیر و سر آدمینگاهی خالی و بی هیچ دلسوزی شبیه خورشیدران های سست اش را به حرکت وا می دارد چرخش سایه وار پرندگان صحرایی.تاریکی قطره قطره می چکداما حالا می دانم که خواب سنگی قرن بیستمو گهواره ای که تکانش می داد کابوسی آزار دهنده بودوچه جانور خشنی ست؛ ساعتش رسیده و می لمد به سمت بیت الحم که زائیده شود؟جواني و عمركه چه بسيار در جواني خشم گرفتم پريشان و ستم ديده از دنياكه حالا با زباني متملق و غلط اندازبه خداحافظيِ مهماني كه تركش مي گويد سرعت مي بخشد. سه بناي يادبودمجامعِ عمومي شان را در جائي برگزار كردندكه برجسته ترين ميهن پرستانمان ايستادندكسي در ميان پرندگان هواكوتاهتر بر هر دستي ؛و تمامِ آن سياستمداران مردمي مي گوينداصالتي اين سرزمين را بنا كردو آنرا از انحطاط باز داشت پندمان دادند كه به آن بياويزيمبگذار آنهمه آرزويِ نخست باقي بماند كه درك آن مارا سر بلند خواهد ساخت غروري كه در آلودگي مي آيد:آن سه رذل بلند مي خندند .


The reason everyone digs Shakespeare is not because he was the greatest writer in the modern English language, or because he was even the greatest playwright, but because he had a nice way of putting things, and people like to apply his pithy sentiments to their own lives. This is stupid, and I've never subscribed to the idea that you can or should evaluate literature based on its relation to or resonance with your own life and experience. If you must do so, however, please do yourself a favor and read Yeats instead of Shakespeare. Although perhaps less amusing in places, he has an incredible gift for language even when the subject of his poetry devolves into repetition of Irish myths. I disagree with his particular brand of Irish nationalism - the spirit and condition of such a troubled nation with an incredibly fractured identity cannot be depicted solely through the Irish Gaelic inheritance (and the poetic naming tradition does nothing to help this)- but the beauty of his language is undeniable, and his poetry is a very great pleasure to read.

Matthew Bellamy

If Yeats had only ever written the "Circus Animals' Desertion," he would be remembered as a fine poet. If he had written that and "Nineteen Hundred and Nineteen" he would be remembered as one of the greatest Irish poets. If he had written both of those and "Lapis Lazuli" he would be remembered as one of the 20th century's greatest poets. Add "Sailing to Byzantium," "The Tower," the "Double Vision of Michael Robartes," etc., and it becomes obvious the William Butler Yeats is the greatest English-language poet to have ever lived*. *my opinion of Yeats only includes his poetic self, not his political or personal selves, and is liable to change based on how Irish I feel on a given day.


One of my favorite poets.

Anne Nikoline

The Collected Poems of W.B. Yeats by William Butler Yeats has a gift for language even when the subject of his poetry devolves into repetition of Irish myths. His way with words is admirable, and even though I am not very religious, his poems about God and angles really got to me. There is no doubt that he is a Shakespeare with his words, but he is still rather good and very enjoyable on rainy days. My favourite poem also happens to be written by Yeats and it goes like this: A mermaid found a swimming lad, picked him for her own, pressed her body to his body, laughed; and plunging down, forgot in cruel happiness that even lovers drown. This, is magic.


Sailing To ByzantiumIThat is no country for old men. The youngIn one another's arms, birds in the trees---Those dying generations---at their song,The salmon-falls, the mackerel-crowded seas,Fish, flesh, or fowl commend all summer longWhatever is begotten, born, and dies.Caught in that sensual music all neglectMonuments of unaging intellect.IIAn aged man is but a paltry thing,A tattered coat upon a stick, unlessSoul clap its hands and sing, and louder singFor every tatter in its mortal dress,Nor is there singing school but studyingMonuments of its own magnificence;And therefore I have sailed the seas and comeTo the holy city of Byzantium.IIIO sages standing in God's holy fireAs in the gold mosaic of a wall,Come from the holy fire, perne in a gyre,And be the singing-masters of my soul.Consume my heart away; sick with desireAnd fastened to a dying animalIt knows not what it is; and gather me Into the artifice of eternity.IVOnce out of nature I shall never takeMy bodily form from any natural thing,But such a form as Grecian goldsmiths makeOf hammered gold and gold enamellingTo keep a drowsy Emperor awake;Or set upon a golden bough to singTo lords and ladies of ByzantiumOf what is past, or passing, or to come. William Butler Yeats


He's conceited. He's an elitist. He's sexist. He's more than a little crazy. But he's also a genius so we'll forgive him all that. That's what my Yeats teacher told me anyways!


Egocentric, patriotic, idealistic, tragic and in the end, disillusioned. He was an occultist, a public figure, an Irish folklorist, a Nobel Prize winner, anti-war activist. His poetry is blunt, complex, mystical and timeless all at once. They are meant to be read aloud.“Write for the ear, I thought, so that you may be instantly understood as when an actor or folk singer stands before an audience.” ---WB YeatsI know this had been quoted many times already, but nevertheless..He Wishes For The Cloths Of HeavenHad I the heavens’ embroidered cloths,Enwrought with golden and silver light,The blue and the dim and the dark clothsOf night and light and the half light,I would spread the cloths under your feet:But I, being poor, have only my dreams;I have spread my dreams under your feet;Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.


If it were possible to award a book six stars out of a possible five, I would award it for this volume. I purchased this book last month in Galway, Ireland, and believe that it is not yet available in the US. The book contains Yeats’ complete and unabridged verse, exclusive of his plays. All the poems are arranged chronologically, and if one knows the poet’s biography it is thus easy to recognize allusions in the verses to what might otherwise be obscure, greatly enhancing one’s understanding and appreciation. Page after page reveals familiar quotations, often in broader contexts than might have been realized. Yeats employs a variety of rhyme schemes, when he uses rhyme at all, and careful reading of the poems often rewards the reader with approximate rhymes that might easily be missed. And the poet’s meters are also often approximate and irregular, so that the best reading is frequently to read right through the enjambments, minimizing any caesura at the end of lines. The poems can, of course, be read in any order, but reading the book cover to cover does provide a rich experience of Yeats’ life and his response to it, his poetic development, and a personal view of Irish history during his lifetime.The poetry contained herein is magnificent. Having just now finished the book, I have moved the ribbon back to the beginning and am ready to start again. Mention should be made of this delightful edition as an artistic product in itself. Published the Collector’s Library, this 4” by 6” book fits easily into a pocket, facilitating its availability for brief readings at any opportunity. The hardcover binding is real cloth, red embossed with gold lettering, and the page edges are gold leaf as well. And I always appreciate an attached ribbon for marking pages. What a delight to read and treasure this small but complete work.

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