Edited by Yeats scholars Catherine E. Paul and Margaret Mills Harper, the volume presents the "system" of philosophy, psychology, history, and the life of the soul that Yeats and his wife George (née Hyde Lees) received and created by means of mediumistic experiments from 1917 through the early 1920s. Yeats obsessively revised the book, and the revised 1937 version is much more widely available than its predecessor. The original 1925 version of A Vision, poetic, unpolished, masked in fiction, and close to the excitement of the automatic writing that the Yeatses believed to be its supernatural origin, is presented here in a scholarly edition for the first time.
The text, minimally corrected to retain the sense of the original, is extensively annotated, with particular attention paid to the relationship between the published book and its complex genetic materials. Indispensable to an understanding of the poet's late work and entrancing on its own merit, A Vision aims to be, all at once, a work of theoretical history, an esoteric philosophy, an aesthetic symbology, a psychological schema, and a sacred book. It is as difficult as it is essential reading for any student of Yeats.
Quoting copiously from the Script, Harper has traced in two volumes these incredible experiments day by day as the Yeatses moved about England, Ireland, and America. He has also cited hundreds of parallel explanatory passages from many workbooks, notebooks, and the concordance arranged like a card index in which Yeats codified the System he projected in A Vision and numerous poems and plays. Harper also has examined the extensive personal revelations that were excluded from A Vision and carefully concealed in many passages of “personal Script.” As Professor Harper demonstrates, Yeats had these often oblique, highly allusive passages in mind when he admitted “To Vestigia” that he had “not even dealt with the whole of my subject, perhaps not even with what is most important, writing nothing about the Beatific Vision, little of sexual love.”
The magazine mainly consists of a series of essays on the theatre in Dublin, and supplementing these are explanations and discussions of new plays, excerpts from which are often included. This book will be of interest to those with an interest in Yeats, early nineteenth-century literature, and Irish theatre.
All are present in this volume, which reproduces the 1933 edition of W. B. Yeats's Collected Poems and also contains an illuminating introduction by author and academic Dr Robert Mighall.
Designed to appeal to the booklover, the Macmillan Collector's Library is a series of beautiful gift editions of much loved classic titles. Macmillan Collector's Library are books to love and treasure.
First published in 1925, and then substantially revised by the author in 1937, A Vision is a unique work of literary modernism, and revelatory guide to Yeats’s own poetry and thinking. Indispensable to an understanding of the poet’s late work, and entrancing on its own merit, the book presents the “system” of philosophy, psychology, history, and the life of the soul that Yeats and his wife, George, received and created by means of mediumistic experiments from 1917 through the early 1920s. Yeats obsessively revised the original book that he wrote in 1925, and the 1937 version is the definitive version of what Yeats wanted to say.
Now, presented in a scholarly edition for the first time by Yeats scholars Margaret Mills Harper and Catherine E. Paul, the 1937 version of A Vision is an important, essential literary resource and a must-have for all serious readers of Yeats.
THE HOSTING OF THE SIDHE
W. B. YEATS.
A TELLER OF TALES
BELIEF AND UNBELIEF
"DUST HATH CLOSED HELEN'S EYE"
A KNIGHT OF THE SHEEP
AN ENDURING HEART
HAPPY AND UNHAPPY THEOLOGIANS
THE LAST GLEEMAN
REGINA, REGINA PIGMEORUM, VENI
"AND FAIR, FIERCE WOMEN"
ARISTOTLE OF THE BOOKS
THE SWINE OF THE GODS
THE UNTIRING ONES
EARTH, FIRE AND WATER
THE OLD TOWN
THE MAN AND HIS BOOTS
THE THREE O'BYRNES AND THE EVIL FAERIES
DRUMCLIFF AND ROSSES
THE THICK SKULL OF THE FORTUNATE
THE RELIGION OF A SAILOR
CONCERNING THE NEARNESS TOGETHER OF HEAVEN, EARTH, AND PURGATORY
THE EATERS OF PRECIOUS STONES
OUR LADY OF THE HILLS
THE GOLDEN AGE
A REMONSTRANCE WITH SCOTSMEN FOR HAVING SOURED THE DISPOSITION OF THEIR GHOSTS AND FAERIES
THE QUEEN AND THE FOOL
THE FRIENDS OF THE PEOPLE OF FAERY
DREAMS THAT HAVE NO MORAL
BY THE ROADSIDE
INTO THE TWILIGHT
“One loses, as one grows older, something of the lightness of one's dreams; one begins to take life up in both hands, and to care more for the fruit than the flower, and that is no great loss perhaps.” - W.B. Yeats, The Celtic Twilight
The Celtic Twilight by W. B. Yeats is an extensive collection of Irish lore from old fairy tales to anecdotes and even essays that clearly depict the Irish culture. Before the Dawn of Human Kind, the Druids walked on our lands constantly trying to find the perfect balance with the forces of nature. Fairies, spirits and leprechauns were among those untamed forces.
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I think it was a Young Ireland Society that set my mind running on ‘popular poetry.’ We used to discuss everything that was known to us about Ireland, and especially Irish literature and Irish history. We had no Gaelic, but paid great honour to the Irish poets who wrote in English, and quoted them in our speeches. I could have told you at that time the dates of the birth and death, and quoted the chief poems, of men whose names you have not heard, and perhaps of some whose names I have forgotten. I knew in my heart that the most of them wrote badly, and yet such romance clung about them, such a desire for Irish poetry was in all our minds, that I kept on saying, not only to others but to myself, that most of them wrote well, or all but well. I had read Shelley and Spenser and had tried to mix their styles together in a pastoral play which I have not come to dislike much, and yet I do not think Shelley or Spenser ever moved me as did these poets. I thought one day—I can remember the very day when I thought it—‘If somebody could make a style which would not be an English style and yet would be musical and full of colour, many others would catch fire from him, and we would have a really great school of ballad poetry in Ireland. If these poets, who have never ceased to fill the newspapers and the ballad-books with their verses, had a good tradition they would write beautifully and move everybody as they move me.’ Then a little later on I thought, ‘If they had something else to write about besides political opinions, if more of them would write about the beliefs of the people like Allingham, or about old legends like Ferguson, they would find it easier to get a style.’ Then, with a deliberateness that still surprises me, for in my heart of hearts I have never been quite certain that one should be more than an artist, that even patriotism is more than an impure desire in an artist, I set to work to find a style and things to write about that the ballad writers might be the better.
I remember sitting upon somebody’s knee, looking out of a window at a wall covered with cracked and falling plaster, but what wall I do not remember, and being told that some relation once lived there. I am looking out of another window in London. It is at Fitzroy Road. Some boys are playing in the road and among them a boy in uniform, a telegraph boy perhaps. When I ask who the boy is, a servant tells me that he is going to blow the town up, and I go to sleep in terror.
After that come memories of Sligo, where I live with my grandparents. I am sitting on the ground looking at a mastless toy boat, with the paint rubbed and scratched, and I say to myself in great melancholy, “it is further away than it used to be,” and while I am saying it I am looking at a long scratch in the stern, for it is especially the scratch which is further away. Then one day at dinner my great-uncle William Middleton says, “we should not make light of the troubles of children. They are worse than ours, because we can see the end of our trouble and they can never see any end,” and I feel grateful for I know that I am very unhappy and have often said to myself, “when you grow up, never talk as grown-up people do of the happiness of childhood.” I may have already had the night of misery when, having prayed for several days that I might die, I had begun to be afraid that I was dying and prayed that I might live. There was no reason for my unhappiness. Nobody was unkind, and my grandmother has still after so many years my gratitude and my reverence. The house was so big that there was always a room to hide in, and I had a red pony and a garden where I could wander, and there were two dogs to follow at my heels, one white with some black spots on his head and the other with long black hair all over him. I used to think about God and fancy that I was very wicked, and one day when I threw a stone and hit a duck in the yard by mischance and broke its wing, I was full of wonder when I was told that the duck would be cooked for dinner and that I should not be punished.