William Butler Yeats

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William Butler Yeats (June 13, 1865 - January 28, 1939) was an Irish playwright and poet. Winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1923, Yeats was one of the most important contributors to 20th century literature. His work includes The Tower (1928), The Winding Stair and other Poems (1929), and the play Purgatory (shown 1938). Yeats also served two terms in the Séanad, the Irish Senate.

Yeats was born in Dublin but raised primarily in County Sligo and in London. His father, John Butler Yeats, was a well-known painter. Though born into the Protestant Ascendancy, W. B. Yeats became an important figure in the Celtic Revival, a movement that championed native Irish culture over English influences. Much of his work draws upon Irish mythology and folklore. His poetry was also influenced by Maude Gonne, with whom he maintained a primarily platonic love affair for many years. Yeats cofounded Dublin's famous Abbey Theater.

Poems

  • The Lake Isle of Innisfree
  • Easter 1916
  • Under Ben Bulben
  • He Wishes for the Cloths of Heaven
  • When You Are Old

Plays

  • Cathleen ni Houlihan
  • The Land of Heart's Desire
  • The Hourglass
  • On Baile's Strand

External Links

Selection of Yeats poems
Yeats exhibition at the National Library of Ireland

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