Talk:W. B. Yeats

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Featured article W. B. Yeats is a featured article; it (or a previous version of it) has been identified as one of the best articles produced by the Wikipedia community. Even so, if you can update or improve it, please do so.
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Current status: Featured article



This article needs a much clearer chronology in light of the way the Yeats family moved around in his childhood. It says that he thought of Sligo as the country of his childhood, yet his parents moved to London when he was 2. Just a table listing where he lived when would solved the problem. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:20, 15 September 2010 (UTC)

The page currently says - His poem, "The Second Coming" is one of the most potent sources of imagery about the 20th century. Which strikes me as (a) highly questionable and (b) vacuous. Any suggestions for improvement? Harry R

Doesn't seem too questionable to me, but it's a little incomplete. My suggestion is to combine this info with the actual page on The Second Coming (poem) and then simply link there from here. --
Seems contentious to me too, reading too much into a singular poem rather than the whole of Yeats's works. Furthermore I'm not sure Yeats is politically motivated in this poem. Never heard of Yeats being anti-democratic. Mandel - May 11, 2004
Yeats is well-known for being anti-democratic. His cultural models were almost entirely aristocratic--this is why, to use the most obvious example I can think of, Yeats makes so much use of Lady Gregory and her background in his poetry. Perhaps the most violent anti-democratic writing by Yeats is his On the Boiler, in which he derides the spread of literacy and other modern (mostly industrial) developments. His father said in a letter--and I know it because it was quoted by Ezra Pound, who put together an edition of JBY's letters--that "Democracy devours its poets and artists"; the younger Yeats--and Ezra Pound, perhaps with more nuance--would have agreed. You can look at almost any critical book on Yeats and get this information (not the least, Bloom's Yeats). —Preceding unsigned comment added by Bartrambartram444 (talkcontribs) 02:56, 31 January 2009 (UTC)

The Ezra Pound entry in Wikipedia says that Yeats was never influenced by Ezra Pound, yet this article contradicts that.

The Ezra Pound page is wrong. Bmills 07:38, 22 Jul 2004 (UTC)

I have started what I hope will be a major rewrite of this article. Here's the text as I found it, minus the images:

William Butler Yeats (June 13, 1865January 28, 1939), often referred to as W.B. Yeats, was an Irish poet, dramatist and mystic. He served as an Irish Senator in the 1920s.

Born in Dublin, in 1865, the firstborn of John Butler Yeats and Susan Mary Yeats. In 1877, W.B. entered Godolphin school, which he attended for four years, after which he continued his education at Erasmus Smith High School, in Dublin. For a time (from 1884 – 1886), he attended the Metropolitan School of Art.

In 1885, Yeats's first poems were published in the Dublin University Review.

In 1889, Yeats met Maud Gonne, a young heiress who was beginning to devote herself to the Irish nationalist movement. Gonne admired Yeats's early poem The Isle of Statues and sought out his acquaintance. Yeats developed an obsessive infatuation with Gonne, and she was to have a significant effect on his poetry and his life ever after. Two years after, he proposed to Gonne, but was rejected. In 1896, he was introduced to Lady Gregory by their mutual friend Edward Martyn and began an affair with Olivia Shakespeare, which ended one year later. Lady Gregory encouraged Yeats's nationalism and convinced him to continue focusing on writing drama. In 1899, Yeats again proposed to Gonne, and was again rejected. He proposed again in 1900, and again in 1901; in 1903, Maud Gonne married Irish nationalist John MacBride, and Yeats visited America on a lecture tour.

Yeats spent the summer of 1917 with Maud Gonne, and proposed to Gonne's daughter, but was rejected. In September, he proposed to George Hyde-Lees, was accepted, and the two were married on the 20th of October.

He was highly interested in mysticism and spiritualism, and attended his first séance in 1886. Later, Yeats became heavily involved with hermeticist and theosophical beliefs, and in 1900 he became head of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, which he had joined in 1890. That same year, maintaining his interest in the literary arts, Yeats cofounded the Rhymer's Club with John Rhys.

All his life, Yeats maintained friendships with a number of poets and literary figures; for a time in 1913, Ezra Pound served as Yeats's secretary. Yeats was also known and respected by Oscar Wilde, John Millington Synge, T. S. Eliot, and Virginia Woolf, among others.

Yeats was awarded the Nobel Prize for literature in 1923.

Yeats, after suffering from a variety of illnesses for a number of years, died in France in January, 1939, eight months before the German invasion of Poland. Soon afterward, Anglo-American poet W. H. Auden composed the poem In Memory of W. B. Yeats. The well known opening lines of the final section of this poem read simply: "Earth receive an honored guest: / William Yeats is laid to rest.". Yeats was first buried at Roquebrune, until his body was moved to Drumecliff, Sligo in September, 1948. His grave is a famous attraction in Sligo. The stone reads a line from one of his poems: "Cast a cold eye on life, on death, horsemen pass by". Of this location, Yeats said, "the place that has really influenced my life most is Sligo." The town is also home to a statue and memorial building in Yeats's honour.


Yeats's early poetry drew heavily on Irish myth and folklore; however his later work was engaged with more contemporary issues. His style also underwent a dramatic transformation. Yeats' work can be divided into three general periods. His earliest work is lushly pre-Raphaelite in tone, self-consciously ornate, and at times, according to unsympathetic critics, stilted. Yeats began by writing epic poems: The Isle of Statues and The Wanderings of Oisin. After Oisin, he never attempted another long poem. His other early poems are lyrics on the themes of love or mystical and esoteric subjects. Yeats' middle period saw him abandon the pre-Raphaelite character of his early wrk and attempt to turn himself into a Landor-style social ironist. Critics who admire his middle work might characterize it as supple and muscular in its rhythms and sometimes harshly modernist, while others find these poems barren and weak in imaginative power. Yeats' later work found new imaginative inspiration in the mystical system he began to work out for himself under the influence of spiritualism. In many ways, this poetry is a return to the vision of his earlier work. The opposition between the worldly-minded man of the sword and the spiritually-minded man of God, the theme of The Wanderings of Oisin, is reproduced in A Dialogue Between Self and Soul.

Some critics claim that Yeats spanned the transition from the nineteenth century into twentieth-century modernism in poetry much as Pablo Picasso did in painting. Others question whether late Yeats really has much in common with modernists of the Ezra Pound and T. S. Eliot variety. Modernists read the well-known poem The Second Coming as a dirge for the decline of European civilization in the mode of Eliot, but later critics have pointed out that this poem is an expression of Yeats' apocalyptic mystical theories, and thus the expression of a mind shaped by the 1890s.

Yeats is generally conceded to be one of twentieth century's key English-language poets. Yet, unlike most modernists who experimented with vers libre, Yeats was a master of the traditional verse forms. His most important collections of poetry started with The Green Helmet (1910) and Responsibilities (1914). In imagery, Yeats's poetry became sparer, more powerful as he grew older. The Tower (1928), The Winding Stairs (1929) and New Poems (1938) contained some of the most potent images in twentieth-century poetry; his Last Poems are also conceded to be amongst his best.

Yeats's mystical inclinations, informed by Hindu Theosophical beliefs and the occult, formed much of the basis of his late poetry, which some critics have attacked as lacking in intellectual credibility. W. H. Auden criticizes his late stage as the "deplorable spectacle of a grown man occupied with the mumbo-jumbo of magic and the nonsense of India". The metaphysics of Yeats's late works must be read, for better or for worse, in relation to Yeats's system of esoteric fundamentalities in A Vision (1925), which is read today primarily for its value shed on his late poetry rather than for any rigorous intellectual or philosophical insights.

His poem, "The Second Coming" is one of the most potent sources of imagery about the 20th century. For instance,

Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.

For the anti-democratic Yeats, 'the best' referred to the traditional ruling classes of Europe, who were unable to protect the traditional culture of Europe from materialistic mass movements. For later readers, 'the best' and 'the worst' have been redefined to fit their own political views.

Also, the concluding lines

And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?

This refers to Yeats' belief that history was cyclic, and that his age represented the end of the cycle that began with the rise of Christianity.

See also:

Maud Gonne
Lady Gregory
Leda and the Swan

I'm not entirely sure where the sources are for the interpretation of "And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,/Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?"

It seems to be a conclusion reached on Yeats' personal beliefs based solely the interpretation of the individual writing that section.

One could look at Thomas Whitaker's book Swan and Shadow: Dialogue with History, Yeats' Autobiography, Yeats' A Vision, and a range of other books that all confirm the above interpretation (i.e. it is not simply based on one individual's interpretation, it's almost common knowledge among Yeats scholars). Bartrambartram444 (talk) 03:01, 31 January 2009 (UTC)Bartrambartram444 -- 05:53, 22 August 2007 (UTC)


  • 1886 - Mosada
  • 1888 - Fairy and Folk Tales of the Irish Peasantry
  • 1889 - The Wanderings of Oisin and Other Poems
  • 1891 - Representative Irish Tales
  • 1891 - John Sherman and Dhoya
  • 1892 - Irish Faerie Tales
  • 1892 - The Countess Kathleen and Various Legends and Lyrics
  • 1893 - The Celtic Twilight
  • 1894 - The Land of Heart's Desire
  • 1895 - Poems
  • 1897 - The Secret Rose
  • 1899 - The Wind Among the Reeds
  • 1900 - The Shadowy Waters
  • 1902 - Cathleen in Houlihan
  • 1903 - Ideas of Good and Evil
  • 1903 - In the Seven Woods
  • 1907 - Discoveries
  • 1910 - The Green Helmet and Other Poems
  • 1912 - The Cutting of an Agate
  • 1913 - Poems Written in Discouragement
  • 1914 - Responsibilities
  • 1916 - Reveries Over Childhood and Youth
  • 1917 - The Wild Swans at Coole
  • 1918 - Per Amica Silentia Lunae
  • 1921 - Michael Robartes and the Dancer
  • 1921 - Four Plays for Dancers
  • 1921 - Four Years
  • 1924 - The Cat and the Moon
  • 1925 - A Vision
  • 1926 - Estrangement
  • 1926 - Autobiographies
  • 1927 - October Blast
  • 1928 - The Tower
  • 1929 - The Winding Stair
  • 1933 - The Winding Stair and Other Poems
  • 1934 - Collected Plays
  • 1935 - A Full Moon in March
  • 1938 - New Poems

External links[edit]

contained] —Preceding unsigned comment added by Dialinn (talkcontribs) 19:44, 15 July 2010 (UTC)

    • That's not the kind of link that belongs in the article, though--what would its direct relevance be? Drmies (talk) 19:46, 15 July 2010 (UTC)

Gothenburg Prize?[edit]

[citation needed]

The article references that in "1934 he shared the Gothenburg Prize for Poetry with Rudyard Kipling". I have never heard of this prize, and googling turns up nothing but this and the Kippling article. Both articles had the reference added by the same anon on November 18, 2004. If nobody responds to this who has heard of this prize, I am going to remove the reference.

Hobx 12:19, 15 January 2006 (UTC)

Removed it. Hobx 08:33, 16 January 2006 (UTC)

What happened to this article?[edit]

What happened to this article, seriously? After reaching Featured Article, nobody bothered to maintain it. Someone came in, deleted large tracts of the texts, so it now reads with lots of annoying non-Wikipedia conventions - boldings everywhere, for instance. The lead now contains lots of pointless information which should be shifted down, like his high school. Mandel 21:15, 8 May 2006 (UTC)

Probably due to the "Early life and work" section heading disappearing at some point. —johndburger 23:22, 8 May 2006 (UTC)
Doing a comparison between the pre-FA and current version shows that the changes haven't been too drastic, but it would probably be worth sifting through them to see if something important has been lost. — Stumps 08:02, 9 May 2006 (UTC)
I moved the Nobel reference back to the Introduction. Given how short the intro is now, this could be shortened, with another mention in one of the later sections, including the quote from the Nobel committee. I kind of like the short intro better than that in the FA version of the article. —johndburger 10:39, 9 May 2006 (UTC)

Having just looked over the article as it was on Nov 3rd 2004 (when it was featured article) it seems that it has gone drastically down-hill. The "Style" section, for instance, is awful; subjective, poorly and confusingly written, lacking in evidence (i.e., "Some critics claim that Yeats..." - Who??), and overly opinionated. The quality of syntax makes the entry extremely difficult to understand in places and somewhat reminiscent of a high-school essay: "Yeats chooses words and puts them together so that in addition to a particular meaning they suggest other meanings that seem more significant." An entry on the style of a poet should not veer into uncited personal interpretations of a poet's work. Statements regarding poetic style should have their basis in publically available criticism that comes from a reliable and distinguished source. I am suggesting a rewrite of this section, unless anyone has any objections. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:24, 8 March 2008 (UTC)

Please feel free to edit; I agree the section is underdeveloped and can be improved yet. Ceoil (talk) 21:06, 8 March 2008 (UTC)

Jack Butler Yeats[edit]

Does anyone know if William Butler Yeats is related to Jack Butler Yeats? If not, is Butler Yeats a fairly common name in Ireland or what? Just curious. :) Jobjörn (Talk | contribs) 11:47, 18 June 2006 (UTC)

Hey, they were brothers. How about that? Hey, it even says so in the introduction. Kill me, I'm stupid. Jobjörn (Talk | contribs) 11:49, 18 June 2006 (UTC)


The lack of citations in this article is surprising. Anyone willing to work on them? And why is this a featured article for another language? And whats with improving it with Chinese? Zos 21:50, 23 June 2006 (UTC)

I presume it means the Yeats article in the Mandarin Wikipedia was a featured article at some point. Given that, there may be some useful information to be gleaned from that article (by some bilingual editor, of course) to improve this one. —johndburger 01:46, 24 June 2006 (UTC)

Cultural depictions of William Butler Yeats[edit]

I've started an approach that may apply to Wikipedia's Core Biography articles: creating a branching list page based on in popular culture information. I started that last year while I raised Joan of Arc to featured article when I created Cultural depictions of Joan of Arc, which has become a featured list. Recently I also created Cultural depictions of Alexander the Great out of material that had been deleted from the biography article. Since cultural references sometimes get deleted without discussion, I'd like to suggest this approach as a model for the editors here. Regards, Durova 16:32, 17 October 2006 (UTC)

Anglo-Saxon Protestant?[edit]

I've never heard this phrase before, Why not use born to Anglo-Irish parents. This covers it in a less awkward way as well as it being a commonly used term. Whoever keeps changing it back should take a look at the link. They may not be Irish and therefore may not have heard of this term before. This also covers the fact that he was a member of the Upper Class. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 21:36, 8 January 2007 (UTC).

Anglo-Saxon Protestant is hardly an unusual phrase, at in least in the US, see WASP. —johndburger 01:29, 10 January 2007 (UTC)

Yes but we're talking in the context of W.B Yeats here and this phrase is not used in Ireland. Yeats' parents were not Anglo-Saxon, They were Anglo-Irish ie. they were born in Ireland to a family of the Aristocracy.

I'd see the Protestantism as the more important element, affecting his view on divorce in the Senate and enabling him to identify with Swift and Burke, as well as Wolfe Tone and Edward Fitzgerald, even if he was hardly a Christian. I'm not sure that he was Anglo-Irish as it tends to be used in current usage -- Yeats saw himself as Irish, as did his parents. He may have liked to think he was of aristocratic extraction (with Butler from the Dukes of Ormonde) but that is more snobbery than actual fact. I'd go for "Protestant", or "Church of Ireland" even, however I realise that these terms probably mean even less to US readers. Nmmad 15:06, 10 April 2007 (UTC)

Deletion of popular references section[edit]

This section is a bit of a mess, but I think simply deleting it with no reason given, or any discussion, is inappropriate. I'd be perfectly happy with moving it to its own page, as suggested above. —johndburger 02:11, 25 May 2007 (UTC)

The fact that it was a mess was reason enough for deletion. If people want to keep such lists, the least they could do is format them properly. Anyhow, I spun it out. Ceoil 21:51, 25 May 2007 (UTC)


What happened to the infobox at the beginning of the article. If nobody has any problems I'm going to place one in the article.Exiledone 19:31, 26 May 2007 (UTC)

I've placed the infobox. I'd appreciate if any users could correct any errors in it(Influences, Influenced, Movements ect). Exiledone 19:38, 26 May 2007 (UTC)
Hi Exiledone, infoboxes are not mandatory, and the majority of editors working on the page are against including one here. There is a discussion on the issue in the current FAR. Ceoil 19:58, 26 May 2007 (UTC)
Sorry, I hadn't seen this discussion and added another infobox. Although I disagree like crazy, at least people had the opportunity to discuss it. -Midnightdreary 02:52, 5 June 2007 (UTC)

Yet another Infobox attempt. I added an XML comment to the source to the effect that the editors do not want one (although I'm agnostic about it). 03:08, 3 December 2007 (UTC) —Preceding unsigned comment added by Johndburger (talkcontribs)

What little discussion there was on the matter took place several months ago. I think it is time we revisit the issue. What good reason is there for this article not to have an author box? ---RepublicanJacobiteThe'FortyFive' 04:15, 3 December 2007 (UTC)
What good reason is there for the article to have one? Paul August 05:14, 3 December 2007 (UTC)
The lead and the infobox give a preview of the article, besides if 80% of articles about important authors have an infobox, for the sake of homogeneity, Yeats should have one as well. Yamanbaiia 08:57, 3 December 2007 (UTC)
The infobox looks ugly, and adds precicely nothing.Ceoil 09:46, 3 December 2007 (UTC)
The lead is there to give a preview of the article. Ceoil 09:54, 3 December 2007 (UTC)
"Movement", "influences", "influenced", "place of birth", "period", "place of birth", etc. are not mentioned in the lead. Ugly? that's not an argument, the fact is infoboxes are usefull, specially when you just need to know the basics of the subject and don't have the time/want to navigate throughout the whole article. -Yamanbaiia 10:21, 3 December 2007 (UTC)
There's nothing saying that infoboxes are mandatory on articles. It's more important that the information you listed is in the article itself rather than there be an infobox at the top of the page. Consensus during the article's Featured Article Review favored removing it. WesleyDodds 11:49, 3 December 2007 (UTC)
And, as I said above, the FAR and the conversation related thereto, took place more than 6 months ago. It is time for a new conversation which will involve other editors. And, quite frankly, I would like to see where it is spellt out, in no uncertain terms, that the majority of editors were not in favour of an infobox. ---RepublicanJacobiteThe'FortyFive' 15:11, 3 December 2007 (UTC)
I strongly object to adding the box. Ceoil 16:03, 3 December 2007 (UTC)
Would you care to be a little more forthcoming as to your reasons? Simply saying you "strongly object" really does not tell us much. ---RepublicanJacobiteThe'FortyFive' 16:11, 3 December 2007 (UTC)
The infobox distorted and simplified, its repitiitous, and ugly. Ceoil 17:04, 3 December 2007 (UTC)
If there is something wrong with the box itself, i.e., I formatted it incorrectly, etc., that can be corrected. That is not an argument for its deletion. And it is not, to a large degree, repetitious. Much of the information, like who influenced him and who he influenced, can only be found much later in the article. As Yamanbaiia stated quite correctly above, an infobox is useful for presenting, in a relatively simple form, information for which one would otherwise have to search the entire article. This is precisely why they are used. ---RepublicanJacobiteThe'FortyFive' 17:19, 3 December 2007 (UTC)
I don't feel as strongly as some others appear to, but I find, for certain topic areas, infoboxes are a little too "USA Today"—they're somewhat inelegant, often simplistic, and do not encourage readers to delve into a subject. I see that Britannica does not use them—not a sufficient argument, but indicative, I think. Finally, I note that this became a featured article without an infobox. —johndburger 04:24, 4 December 2007 (UTC)
I don't think it's a question of esthetics, but a question of usefulness. Honestly after so much time using Wikipedia i don't see the infobox as ugly or not, just as something that's there, like the content box under the lead section. And it's not wikipedia's job to encourage readers to delve into a subject, but to be helpfull and consistent, even for the people that doesn't care about Yeats and justs needs to know to which movement he belonged to and who did he influenced. Britannica might not use them, but Wikipedia definetely does, i'd say 80% of FAs about people have infoboxes. -Yamanbaiia 08:45, 4 December 2007 (UTC)

WikiProject Biography encourages the use of infoboxes. From reading this section, it seems the consensus is to have it, as only one editor objected while several wanted it or were "agnostic" about it. I've restored it. Yworo (talk) 19:57, 25 August 2010 (UTC)

Yworo, I don't know how much you know about these artists and writers, but having infoboxes for them is extremely difficult. I'm absolutely in favor of not having an infobox. Truthkeeper88 (talk) 20:16, 25 August 2010 (UTC)
I think a poet like Yeats is far too complex and involved for a device as reductive as an infobox. I think it simplistic and misleads. This has been the general concencus for some time now, with no convincing argument against, except, it gives readers who cannot be bothered scan the lead a 2 second jump on the who, what and why. Ug. Ceoil (talk) 20:20, 25 August 2010 (UTC)
WP:Disinfoboxes applies perfectly to most of the modernist articles. Too much complexity to jam into a box. Agree - ug. Truthkeeper88 (talk) 20:25, 25 August 2010 (UTC)
Just to be clear to those editors restoring the infobox: this article has never had an infobox. Yworo should discuss and achieve consensus before making such a change to an FA. Truthkeeper88 (talk) 20:30, 25 August 2010 (UTC)
Well to be fair, it did for a short spell, and was one of the main bones of contention during its FAR. The rest of the thing on the top right is a joke. The absolute height of presumably unintended humor is: "Occupation: Poet" Ceoil (talk) 20:38, 25 August 2010 (UTC)
Oops - didn't go back as far as May 2007. So, just to be clear, the article hasn't had an infobox for over three years until today? Truthkeeper88 (talk) 20:48, 25 August 2010 (UTC)
There is absolutely no consensus for including an infobox in this discussion. The adding of an infobox is a decidedly pointy edit. freshacconci talktalk 20:52, 25 August 2010 (UTC)
Consensus is against the infobox...Modernist (talk) 21:18, 25 August 2010 (UTC)
Citing such a broad project as WikiProject Biography as having authority over as narrow a field as poetry is seeking a very dangerous precedent. Not butterflies. Ceoil (talk) 21:26, 25 August 2010 (UTC)

Maud Gonne's age[edit]

The article has her as a 22 y/o heiress in 1886. Her article has her born in 1866. She's also described as younger than Yeats, who was born in 1865, and thus either 20 or 21 in 1886. What's going on here? 04:13, 27 June 2007 (UTC)

"A Woman Young and Old" is not one poem but a series, probably related to another series "A Man Young and Old". Yeats had had many relationships with women by 1929 and had also been married for 11 years. How can you prove these poems were written about Maud Gonne, who was a grandmother in her late 50s by then and heavily involved in politics, which Yeats disapproved of? How could he write this about her in 1929, yet ten years before he described her as "an old bellows full of angry wind" (from "A Prayer for my Daughter"). How can you tell it is not about his wife, Iseult Gonne or Olivia Shakespeare, for example? What is the source that says it is Maud Gonne? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:40, 10 February 2010 (UTC)


Yeats is not like T. S. Eliot or W. H. Auden or whoever, who are always known by initials. He is sometimes called by initials, and sometimes by his full name, and I'd say the full name is rather more broadly familiar. As the original move was made with no discussion, I've moved it back. john k 04:23, 27 June 2007 (UTC)

Yeats disliked his given name and almost never used it. -- 08:33, 1 August 2007 (UTC)

puzzling link - yeats poem or not?[edit]

Hi all, I've come across this (from <>)

a song of the rosy-cross

He who measures gain and loss,
When he gave to thee the Rose,
Gave to me alone the Cross
Where the blood-red blossom blows
In a wood of dew and moss,
There thy wandering pathway goes,
Mine where waters brood and toss;
Yet one joy have I hid close,
He who measures gain and loss,
When he gave to thee the Rose,
Gave to me alone the Cross.

W.B.Yeats On "Now And In Time To Be" and "Spellbound - The Best Of Sharon Shannon" ---

I can only find 1 or 2 hits on the entire web for this, which is odd if it is indeed a yeats poem. The "now and in time to be" can be found on amazon and elsewhere as "Now and in Time to Be: a Musical Celebration of the Works of W.B.Yeats" (talk) 11:43, 22 April 2008 (UTC) So, izzit yeats or not? Can anyone illuminate. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:39, 22 April 2008 (UTC)

I'd have thought someone might have answered the question but as no-one has I might suppose it's more difficult than I'd expected. Surely, though, someone can shed light on this? I grow more curious.
Thanks (talk) 18:55, 12 October 2008 (UTC)
So, after nearly 3 years no-one can say anything about it? Finally links have appeared on the web which suggest it's a yeat's poem but really, was my question so dense or so hard that none could assist authoritatively? I'm actually very puzzled. There must be a ton of experts here. (talk) 22:50, 19 January 2011 (UTC)

Lack of sources[edit]

Good day have removed a small part in which it was implied that he had some simpathies to nazism for no source is mentioned.Think there is a bit of slant or a deliberate ideological discourse in there .

A Byrne —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:03, 17 October 2008 (UTC)

List of works[edit]

I went ahead and replaced the complete bibliography with a link to List of works by William Butler Yeats and a list of significant works, as judged by their mention in the article. I don't know an awful lot about Yeats, so please revise the selected works as appropriate. Avram (talk) 23:08, 30 November 2008 (UTC)

Same Quote Appears Twice - PLEASE CORRECT[edit]

Auden's quote about "mumob-jumbo from Indea &c." appears twice - in "Young Poet" as well as "Style." Because I did not collaborate on this article, I am not going to decide where the quote belongs; however it certainly does not belong twice. Thank you. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 08:14, 27 December 2008 (UTC)

Well spotted; fixed now. Ceoil (talk) 14:50, 27 December 2008 (UTC)


"when he duly asked Maud to marry him, and was duly refused, his thoughts shifted with surprising speed to her daughter". Do we have a reference for this Foster quote, please? Massimo57 (talk) 22:24, 8 January 2009 (UTC)

PD image[edit]

This photo of Yeats by George Charles Beresford is now in the public domain.[1] Ty 07:59, 23 February 2009 (UTC)

Thanks, I just added. Ceoil (talk) 20:15, 23 February 2009 (UTC)

Unreferenced "Style" section[edit]

I added the unreferenced section tag to the "Style" section of this article; it was removed with the addition of only one citation and a slight change of wording. The section is nearly 900 words and there are only 7 citations, three of them referencing Yeats's work itself and not the claims made about his style. Specifically,

  • "Yeats is generally considered to be one of the twentieth century's key English-language poets."
  • "His use of symbols[65] is usually something physical which is used both to be itself and to suggest other, perhaps immaterial, timeless qualities." (The fact that he uses symbols is referenced, but the rest of the sentence is not. Possibly this footnote is merely misplaced.)
  • The entire second paragraph only references the quote from Yeats's poetry and none of the criticism about them. The last four paragraphs have one critical citation (the other two again only source the work of Yeats himself).

I've replaced the tag. -Sketchmoose (talk) 19:22, 30 March 2009 (UTC)

I will work on this with you if you feel so strong. Ceoil (talk) 19:29, 30 March 2009 (UTC)
It's not a question of feeling strongly; there just simply aren't enough references, and saying "it's fine" or that the tag can be removed because I didn't add any references myself doesn't change this. I'll gladly help if I can, but the burden isn't on me (which isn't to say it's on you either). Thanks. -Sketchmoose (talk) 13:07, 31 March 2009 (UTC)
  • I've added two references to the section. I have references for all of the other lines. If there are any more lines in particular that you feel need references, please list them. I've stated the same thing on Ceoil's talk page. Ottava Rima (talk) 18:11, 2 April 2009 (UTC)
    I've updated with more references. Anything else that needs to be referenced? Ottava Rima (talk) 18:36, 2 April 2009 (UTC)
To me it seems ok now. Good work Rima. Ceoil (talk) 00:24, 3 April 2009 (UTC)

Jervis Yeats[edit]

The article says that Jervis Yeats died in 1922, which has to be incorrect. A quick Google search indicates that Jervis Yeats died in 1712, which seems feasible, but since I'm not entirely sure if 1712 is accurate, I don't want to edit the article. Hopefully someone else out there can confirm the year of Jervis Yeats' death edit the article accordingly! -

I changed the date with a reference giving the correct date. Ottava Rima (talk) 16:10, 1 April 2009 (UTC)

Writer's Box[edit]

I added a Writer's Box so the article would look more 'Wikipedian'. Somewhat concerned about the notable works though, I added the poems which I think are the first ones that come to mind when mentioning Yeats, but feel free to correct. :) Also, add some people he influenced. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:16, 3 April 2009 (UTC)

   18:00, 3 April 2009  —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk)  


This article has a fine modernist POV bias, doesn't it? Oh, of course, early Yeats is too fluffy and ornate, isn't it? And the more modernist Yeats is tight and powerful and any other good thing the biased writers could come up with to praise it. BS. The older Yeats is the better. Beautiful verse is better than spare, barren, 20th century crap. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:22, 9 July 2009 (UTC)


We need to decide whether Yeats' religion was important enough to discuss in the article. If we are to talk about it, it should be verifiable from reliable sources. I just took an Anglican category out as I believe it was not justified on the strength of some unreferenced mentions of Protestantism in the article. Other opinions? --John (talk) 21:35, 5 September 2009 (UTC)

Sources (That I have sitting around):

1. p. 3 "The Church of Ireland (Anglican and established until 1869) was a family affair, for William's own father had been Rector in Drumcliffe parish in County Sligo"
2. p. 196 "Yeats was proud of his family's long tradition as members of the Anglo-Irish gentry and of the Church of Ireland"
3. p. 221 and p. 223 show that the Church still recognized him as one of theirs later in his life.
4. p. 42 Discusses the mix of Christianity and Mysticism in Yeats's beliefs. The back cover even calls him a "Christian" and an "Occultist".
5. p. 515 "He lectured on 'magic and mysticism' and declared his commitment to 'Christian mysticism'."

And so forth. Ottava Rima (talk) 01:15, 6 September 2009 (UTC)

Nice work. We could have a section on Yeats' religion, it looks like! --John (talk) 17:55, 6 September 2009 (UTC)
You might want to have it more on his occultism. He was heavy into seances and the such. There are many of his plays that deal with the matter. His understanding of time, the soul, and immortality are likewise interesting. It would probably be best to come up with a separate page first and then summarize that page in a section. William Butler Yeats's occultism? Something along that line. Ottava Rima (talk) 17:59, 6 September 2009 (UTC)
His interest in the occult would be an interesting (and long) article of itself! Ceoil (talk) 21:34, 6 September 2009 (UTC)

Last journey[edit]

This article states that Yeats' remains were brought home by the corvette LÉ Macha (01). Cited is Foster. This is disputed by the following edit on the vessel's article (misplaced at the bottom of the page):[2]

The book "A History of the Irish Naval Service" by Aidan McIvor corrects the mistake in that it was not the Macha, but the The LE Cliona under the command of Commander Thomas McKenna (Later to become Overall Commander of the Irish Naval Service)that returned the remains of WB Yeats.

Le Cliona left Haulbowline Naval Base in June 1948, calling at Gibralter on the outward and return leg, and collected the remains of in Nice.

The vessel returned to Sligo Bay after a journey of 17 days.

A similar edit was made to LÉ Cliona (03):[3] The editor appears to be no longer active.

The biography of Yeats may be less reliable on this matter than the McIvor book. Does anyone have access to A History of the Irish Naval Service? Its ISBN is 9780716534181. No preview is avaiable on Google books. Kablammo (talk) 22:18, 23 October 2009 (UTC)

Most of the books I had at the time I worked on this were borrowed. Well, I have Foster yet, but thats the problem. I dig around and see what I can find, would appreciate if you did the same. Thanks for spotting this. Ceoil (talk) 22:27, 23 October 2009 (UTC)
I'd imagine A History of the Irish Naval Service would be available at my local city libary, I can get it but dont have a spare saturday to call for about two weeks. Ceoil (talk) 22:29, 23 October 2009 (UTC)
Thank you. I can find only one library with it on this side of the water and it is over 2000km away. Kablammo (talk) 22:37, 23 October 2009 (UTC)
Though breaks! Which library? Ceoil (talk) 22:39, 23 October 2009 (UTC)
Something called Alibris, in Emeryville California. It appears to be a seller of used books.
The co-author of the McIvor book is John E. Moore, who likely is Captain John E. Moore RN, editor of Jane's Fighting Ships, so the source is likely to be generally reliable. Kablammo (talk) 22:50, 23 October 2009 (UTC)
Hmm, to your 2000 miles, add another 3000 from me. So how do you think we should approach this; put in a qualifier as a foot note? Ceoil (talk) 22:59, 23 October 2009 (UTC)
(EC) I found a "snippet view" here: [4], but as you see, it is cut off just before the vessel's name. At least it confirms that the return of his body by the Service is covered in the book. If we cannot confirm the name of the vessel, simply state that his remains were brought back by a vessel of the Irish Naval Service. Kablammo (talk) 23:33, 23 October 2009 (UTC)
Do it. Ceoil (talk) 23:50, 23 October 2009 (UTC)
Macha - page 155 The Irish Navy by Tom MacGinty ClemMcGann (talk) 01:11, 24 October 2009 (UTC)
Captain: Lt Cdr Thompson & Cdr McKenna was first officer. They were well received at Gibraltar and in France. The remains were received at Rocque Brun near Memtone near Nice by Sean Murphy Irish Ambassador to France. There was a funeral march from Nice to the ship with band, trumpeters and military honours from a company of French alpine troops. It was the first time that France rendered military honours to a civilian. Voyage lasted 17 days. It started in Dun Laoghaire 0800 25 Aug ; Gibraltar berth 42 at 0900 30 Aug - this berth beside the flag tower was a position of honour. Rear Admiral Brooking took the salute in person. Cocktail party hosted by the Air Officer commanding and lunch at the Mount hosted by the Admiral. dinner hosted by the Govenor and Lady Anderson. respects from the American consul and the 6th division USN.
hope this helps - do you need any more? ClemMcGann (talk) 01:31, 24 October 2009 (UTC)
McIvor in his History of the Irish Naval Service says it was the Cliona - not the Macha - however, at the risk of OR, I have been advised that McIvor is in error. ClemMcGann (talk) 12:26, 24 October 2009 (UTC)
Clem, thank you for your efforts here. I searched the New York Times archive for "Macha" and it yielded this result:

Yeats' Body Leaves Nice
September 7, 1948, Tuesday
Page 10, 73 words[5]

Unfortunately the article itself is behind subscription.
Here is a 1948 article from the Irish Times on his burial; the (recent) introductory note to it also gives Macha: [6].
As we now have two reliable book sources indicating it was Macha, indications that a contemporaneous third source (NYT) says the same, the Irish Times piece, and the "OR" that the contrary source is in error provided by a Wikipedia editor well-placed to know, I believe the article should remain as it now is.
Ceoil, the information ClemMcGann has given above may be interesting as it shows the singular honours still given to Yeats some years after his death, but may be more detail than you want in this article. Do what you wish with it. I will however add it to the page on the vessel itself, which is now linked from this article.
Thanks to all on clearing up this point— a minor one, to be sure, but made more important by the FA status of this piece. Kablammo (talk) 13:11, 24 October 2009 (UTC)
Kablammo, I dont think it would be best served in the article body, but have no objection to placing it as a footnote. Thank you both for looking into this. Ceoil (talk) 14:54, 25 October 2009 (UTC)

Irish? Anglo-Irish?[edit]

"William Butler Yeats (pronounced /ˈjeɪts/; 13 June 1865 - 28 January 1939) was an Irish poet, dramatist, and one of the foremost figures of 20th century literature." Forgive me if I'm wrong, but didn't Yeats identify himself as Anglo-Irish? If so, shouldn't the article do the same? Varsovian (talk) 15:29, 14 December 2009 (UTC)

I don't know the answer here; I have been listing him as Irish due to the backlash associated with putting something else. He was not born Irish, but he died Irish, so whatever works best is fine with me. I think Anglo-Irish is probably the most correct. Mrathel (talk) 15:32, 14 December 2009 (UTC)

Wrong, he was 100% Irish. He was born in Sandymount in Dublin, in Ireland; he lived Irish and died Irish. He was about as Anglo-Irish as the PIRA. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Mark Sheridan (talkcontribs) 17:49, 31 December 2009 (UTC)

Anglo-Irish descent. Ceoil (talk) 19:01, 30 April 2010 (UTC)
Some people with Protestant backgrounds were influential in and around the Irish nationalist movement, see Protestant Irish nationalists. Yeats was more of an inspirer than an activist, but for example intervened in the Conscription Crisis of 1918 than briefly united all strands of nationalist opinion. (talk) 07:15, 3 February 2011 (UTC)

Is an Englishman who was born in the Cape, raised in the Cape and died in the Cape considered a Xhosa then? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:16, 25 October 2012 (UTC)

On Wikipedia, apparently so. Jon C. 16:23, 25 October 2012 (UTC)
Yes, yes, a dog born in the stables isn't a horse. But the Irishness of Yeats is glaringly obvious in his life and poetry. If he had English blood, what of it? He wrote of Irish blood. --Akafd76 02:03, 17 January 2013 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by Akafd76 (talkcontribs)

Yeats' vs. Yeats's[edit]

I feel like this has been discussed, but I can't find where. A recent edit changed two instances of Yeats's to Yeats'. One of the cases is within a citation for an article that uses Yeats's, so I changed that one back. In general, however, has consensus been reached on the appropriate possessive for Yeats? It seems that much of the scholarly literature uses Yeats's (e.g., [7], [8], [9]), and I'm inclined to agree. Avram (talk) 17:38, 17 March 2010 (UTC)

I'm inlcinded towards Yeats', Yeats's looks odd to my eyes. Is this a Brit Eng thing? Ceoil (talk) 19:00, 30 April 2010 (UTC)

Straw poll re inclusion of Infobox[edit]

The lame excuse of a long-expired prior consensus has been used to repeatedly remove an Infobox from this article. The use of infoboxes is encouraged by the WikiProject Biography. The last discussion on this talk page showed a consensus for the inclusion of an Infobox which has been repeatedly overridden by editors citing "prior consensus" which is not a valid argument. So let's gauge current consensus. Who supports or opposes inclusion of an Infobox? Yworo (talk) 22:53, 25 August 2010 (UTC)

  • No. Nice attempt to distract from the 3 year old discussion above with a poll about five screens down. Try harder if you want to fool, and please, again, refer to above arguments. Ceoil (talk) 23:02, 25 August 2010 (UTC)

Poll responses (only)[edit]

  • Support - Infoboxes are useful and are encouraged on all biographies. Yworo (talk) 22:53, 25 August 2010 (UTC)
  • Support–Infoboxes are important and have been encouraged on all biographies. To follow the rules does not require consensus. (Salmon1 (talk) 23:22, 25 August 2010 (UTC))
But it's not a rule. freshacconci talktalk 23:26, 25 August 2010 (UTC)
It doesn't have to be a rule to be adopted by a new consensus of editors. Yworo (talk) 23:41, 25 August 2010 (UTC)
Which is why we are seeking consensus. I was responding to Salmon1's statement that a rule does not require consensus. But you knew exactly what I was talking about. freshacconci talktalk 23:43, 25 August 2010 (UTC)


Well, Yworo is the one who originally cited prior consensus. However, there does not appear to have been consensus for having an infobox, despite his instance of this. The current consensus also appears to favour no infobox. In short, both the previous consensus and the current consensus appear to be for no infobox. Likewise, there had been no infobox in this article. It was briefly added, then removed until Yworo decided to add one. There has been no repeated reverting of the infobox: to be blunt, this is disingenuous on Yworo's part. The article never had one. One editor added it; it was removed. Yworo added it today and has then played the game that "other editors" are repeatedly removing the infobox. Consensus is clear against the infobox, and as I stated above, I am neutral on the idea of infoboxes in general, but in this case, the consensus is unamiguous. freshacconci talktalk 23:02, 25 August 2010 (UTC)

How could you possibly know what the current consensus is? Are you psychic? Yworo (talk) 23:47, 25 August 2010 (UTC)
I call troll on that, if thats the best you can do. Ceoil (talk) 02:59, 26 August 2010 (UTC)
I call boooooring on that, if that's the best you can do. Yworo (talk) 03:01, 26 August 2010 (UTC)
Yes I am psychic. I knew that you wouldn't be able to control yourself and would just have to respond to my comment. The fact that your response is of no help to the overall project is another matter altogether.... freshacconci talktalk 12:09, 26 August 2010 (UTC)

Children, children.... let's keep it constructive, please. Spanglej (talk) 14:52, 26 August 2010 (UTC)

Wow, look at all the snow. It's like an early Christmas...for Infobox haters. My bad, I didn't realize how much some editors disliked them for certain articles. Please forgive the disruption and return to your regularly scheduled programming. Yworo (talk) 02:54, 27 August 2010 (UTC)

Can we say, again....[edit]

  • In my opinion - the infobox not needed here, it is optional...Modernist (talk) 22:55, 25 August 2010 (UTC)
  • Not needed here, or anywhere else. Infoboxes are neither required nor desired. The cat is disruptive and should be submitted to CFD, as well. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 23:08, 25 August 2010 (UTC)
  • Yawn. Anything interesting going on? No? OK. WP:SNOW close the mandatory infoboxes thingie. bad idea. • Ling.Nut 23:20, 25 August 2010 (UTC)
  • Per WP:DISINFO I strongly recommend against the infobox on this page. Truthkeeper88 (talk) 23:50, 25 August 2010 (UTC)
    • We have a modernist-infobox warrior here (wow); but its spilling across to other pages. Not a very spohisticated modernist-infobox warrior mind, but a modernist-infobox yawn nonetheless. Dont freak, but be viligant. Ceoil (talk) 23:57, 25 August 2010 (UTC)
  • Oppose Local editors should decide. The Biography project is a secondary one. Johnbod (talk) 11:46, 26 August 2010 (UTC)
  • Oppose. I think that if infoboxes are encouraged by the biographies team, they should change the guideline. As WP:DISINFO says

"A box aggressively attracts the marginally literate eye with apparent promises to contain a reductive summary of information; not all information can be so neatly contained. Like a bulleted list, or a time- line that substitutes for genuine history, it offers a competitive counter-article, stripped of nuance. As a substitute for accuracy and complexity, a box trumps all discourse."

This reflects my experience of info boxes - they're easy but not really very helpful or often accurate. Not quite sure what they're for. The "influences" section doesn't work at all. But let's keep the discussion civil. Best wishes Spanglej (talk) 15:01, 26 August 2010 (UTC)

"There is another world, but it is in this one."[edit]

This line is quoted all over the internet, and equally attributed to Yeats and Paul Eluard. Can someone please identify the specific source, if they know it? I really do not want to mis-attribute this interesting quote.

Jayintheusa —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:46, 15 November 2010 (UTC)

[10]. Ceoil (talk) 18:31, 15 November 2010 (UTC)
Unfortunately, for me, the link goes to a blank page ... Hopefully it works for the ip. Truthkeeper88 (talk) 19:54, 15 November 2010 (UTC)

Thank you, Ceoil!

Certainly if an author, like Llewelyn, writing about Eluard, cannot find the source of the quote among Eluard's works, then the needle of probability moves towards Yeats. But, of course, it would be very comforting, and a service to the innumerable people who cite this phrase, to see if it can actually be sourced anywhere in the Yeats bibliography!

Jayintheusa —Preceding unsigned comment added by Jayintheusa (talkcontribs) 01:18, 16 November 2010 (UTC)


I feel the end of the opening is POV and removed it. The word around the quote especially so.

I don't mind the quote going back in, but one POV does not belong in the opening. Adelson Velsky Landis (talk) 09:52, 9 December 2010 (UTC)

September 1913[edit]

I have a lot of problems with this paragraph:

In his early work, Yeats' aristocratic pose led to an idealisation of the Irish peasant and a willingness to ignore poverty and suffering. Later the emergence of a revolutionary movement from the ranks of the urban, mostly Roman Catholic lower-middle class made him reassess his attitudes. His re-engagement with politics can be seen in the poem September 1913, with its well-known refrain "Romantic Ireland's dead and gone / It's with O'Leary in the grave." The poem is an attack on the Dublin employers who were involved in the 1913 Dublin Lockout. In the refrain of "Easter 1916" ("All changed, changed utterly / A terrible beauty is born"), Yeats faces his own failure to recognise the merits of the leaders of the Easter Rising, due to his attitude towards their humble backgrounds and lives. (Foster (2003), 59–66)

Don't know where to start. Was September 1913 really a poem defending the workers in the 1913 lockout. I really think this needs to be backed up with a lot of cites. In my mind its more about how Yeats was ticked off there was no funding for the museum, in fact, almost all evidence points to this. This period should be dealt with, but I think the above says a lot of stuff that it shouldn't...I am removing it.

The last sentence I'll leave as I think it is correct enough. The sentences before really need some serious citations. There are a lot more cites pointing the exact opposite way. I could cite plenty of Yeats's own poetry from before and after this time to back my idea up, letters, commentary etc. Adelson Velsky Landis (talk) 22:03, 17 December 2010 (UTC)

I think its a fair enough summary of how his thoughts developed, and lets not forget he was always remote, more interested in idealisation than grit. That said, I would be interested to engage on this. My view point was taken from some, admitally bitter writers from the early 30s, when Yeats ruled the cultural landscape of Ireland with a wintery fist. Ceoil (talk) 22:11, 17 December 2010 (UTC)
(edit conflict x 10) I have Foster's book & will have a look - but cited material shouldn't be removed from a featured article without discussion. Might be better simply to add that it's Foster's view. Truthkeeper88 (talk) 22:18, 17 December 2010 (UTC)
The sentence that is cited is the one that I did not remove.
Putting views of either side of the idea is fine, as long as both sides go in. I just think as is it is confusing. There's two issues: what were his views on aristocracy/middle-class versus working class, and what were his views regarding 1913? Then this paragraph tries to tie 1913 and 1916 together, which I'm not sure is correct. His sympathy for working class and lower middle class people and that national revolution in 1916 is clear, in 1913 it is less so. Adelson Velsky Landis (talk) 22:33, 17 December 2010 (UTC)
Did his thought develop though? Where was it developing from? Obviously the kind of thought he expressed in poems such as "Upon A House Shaken By The Land Agitation", where he has a lot more sympathy for the "eagle" landlord than the agitating tenants. OK, but where was he evolving too? Obviously he approved of the national revolution, but as later paragraphs show, often in a Eoin O'Duffy, Fine Gael kind of way. I think his poem Parnell says a lot - "Parnell came down the road, he said to a cheering man: 'Ireland shall get her freedom and you still break stone.'" While he may have had a broad view, this is how he saw things. Yes, he did have a kind of patronizing view of the working class at times, but from "Upon A House Shaken By The Land Agitation" to his death, he was always alarmed by working class people asserting their rights, outside of national revolution.
Onto another point, I'm even more firmly sure that there is little to read in September 1913 as a poem about the Lockout. A lot of evidence shows it was probably mostly written before the lockout. I believe the original poem title mentioned the lack of funding for the museum. He may have meant shades of sympathy for the locked out, but is certainly not an impassioned plea motivated by the lockout on behalf of the locked out workers. All evidence from scholarship points against that.
I will look back on this page either in a few hours, or possibly not until tomorrow. Adelson Velsky Landis (talk) 22:27, 17 December 2010 (UTC)
We're kind of on the same page here Adelson; I think that as much as we need to track the progeress of his thought, we need to reflect how sources intrepretated and wrote about him since his death. Knives were out in the 40s/50s, from the mid 1960s there was a sanctification up to the mid 90s. Foster's bio is very detatched critically and generationally, and widened the door to a more jaundice view of the man. Any sources you have on this, please share - input is very much welcome. Ceoil (talk) 22:38, 17 December 2010 (UTC)
Foster suggests the poem was written as early as July in reaction against the failure of the art gallery. Truthkeeper88 (talk) 22:54, 17 December 2010 (UTC)

So, there seems to be a consensus of sorts that more of what was there should go back. There were five sentences in the original paragraph, I had taken four out, I just put another one back, slightly modified. I removed the word urban as there was a significant rural element in the Irish national revolution, even in the Easter 1916 rising. I also added working class to lower middle class, as James Connolly and the Citizen army played an important part, as De Valera himself said - If I recall correctly Dev said Connolly was more adamant that they should go ahead with the Rising than anyone.

Of the three sentences remaining that were taken out - the first one is OK except for the word "pose" as I feel it was more than a pose. Also, the talk of reassessment in the sentence after makes it look like he changed his mind about this, which I don't feel he did (but all views on this can be expressed).

The sentence with the September 1913 quote is OK, although it should probably go earlier, it doesn't have much context as re-done, and I'm wary of saying it re-engages him with politics. Perhaps if it was put differently it would be good.

The sentence "The poem is an attack on the Dublin employers who were involved in the 1913 Dublin Lockout." is the most problematic, as I don't see it that way. It is fine to put it in as a view, but I would add a contrary view, and qualify the assertion.

So I guess of the three removed, one is about Yeats's reassessment of politics, and two are about 1913 and the poem September 1913. I'm happy to hear input and have consensus about how this can be put back in.

I just feel that as the paragraph existed, it could be really confusing. I have done some reading about Yeats in these years and this paragraph just seemed to need to be re-written, because somewhat unfamiliar with Yeats in this period could get an odd, and in my opinion incorrect view of him and his thought at this time. I feel "To a Wealthy Man..." and "On Those That Hated 'The Playboy of the Western World,' 1907" are just as significant for this time period, and are in fact all pretty much of the same theme as September 1913. Adelson Velsky Landis (talk) 02:18, 19 December 2010 (UTC)

Image copyright problem with File:Augustus John - Yeats.jpg[edit]

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Requested move[edit]

The following discussion is an archived discussion of the proposal. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the proposal was move per request as the more common name. Regarding the spacing, I'm following the very consistent trend for similar subjects evident here.--Fuhghettaboutit (talk) 15:41, 4 June 2011 (UTC)

William Butler YeatsW. B. Yeats – This man is primarily known as 'W. B. Yeats'. This is how his works have been published, a deliberate decision by himself. see also "WB Yeats Society" E-Kartoffel (talk) 16:21, 28 May 2011 (UTC)

  • Strong Oppose. The Google counts disprove that. Softlavender (talk) 06:35, 29 May 2011 (UTC)
  • Support. Out of interest, what google search were you using Softlavender? My search of gbooks (which is preferable to a general google search because most hits from a normal google search will be unreliable sources) showed 173,000 hits for "William Butler Yeats" compared to 234,000 for "W. B. Yeats", which shows that W. B. Yeats is indeed the most common name. Jenks24 (talk) 16:56, 29 May 2011 (UTC)
Hmm, I must have reversed the two in my mind while I was searching. However, GoogleNews does give the full name a higher count. And as an English major at a top five U.S. university, we always used the full name, and this was the case in high school in the 1970s. I have a feeling conventions may have changed to more in line with his publishing, however I still prefer the way I was taught. (The same goes for George Bernard Shaw.) Softlavender (talk) 00:27, 31 May 2011 (UTC)
  • Support. Always known as W.B.Yeats and that's what's on his headstone. Bjmullan (talk) 17:25, 29 May 2011 (UTC)
  • Support as per above. We have D. H. Lawrence, H. G. Wells, J. B. Priestley .... -- Jack of Oz [your turn] 19:57, 29 May 2011 (UTC)
  • Support. He published as W. B. Yeats, google books supports this variation, critical writing on Yeats favours W. B. and as pointed out above, his headstone reads W. B. Yeats. That would be the common name. freshacconci talktalk 20:04, 29 May 2011 (UTC)
  • Support per supporters. Johnbod (talk) 20:27, 29 May 2011 (UTC)
  • Support - per the headstone test. But I wouldn't space the W.B. Ceoil 13:28, 4 June 2011 (UTC)
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of the proposal. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

Nationality again[edit]

Should the lede refer to Yeats as Irish or Anglo-Irish? (talk) 16:26, 20 September 2011 (UTC)

Would it not be more specific and appropriate to say W B was Anglo-Irish, a la Ernest Shackleton, Francis Bacon, Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington, et al? He was a member of the Ascendancy that self-identified as Anglo-Irish ("I am proud to consider myself a typical man of that minority", etc), so it seems only sensible. Thoughts? JonChappleTalk 22:12, 12 July 2011 (UTC)

MOS:BIO states that "Ethnicity or sexuality should not generally be emphasized in the opening unless it is relevant to the subject's notability." While he evidently was Anglo-Irish, I don't see how that's relevant to his notability. An example of an article where ethnicity is appropriate to the lede is Rosa Parks who " was an African-American civil rights activist, whom the U.S. Congress called "the first lady of civil rights", and "the mother of the freedom movement", as she is notable for defying segregation of African-Americans from whites. Yeats, however, is known for his contributions to literature, not for something related to his ancestry. (talk) 18:00, 19 September 2011 (UTC)
In cases where nationality in in doubt or a complex issue, self-identification is the way to go. Was Yeats merely an Irishman or a Briton too? That he's from Ireland isn't in any doubt, and the article reflects, but he was also undoubtedly a British citizen, so if we do away with Anglo-Irish should this be included in the lead too? I think Anglo-Irish covers it succinctly, just as it does on the articles listed above. JonCTalk 14:38, 20 September 2011 (UTC)
But Anglo-Irish isn't a nationality, it's an ethnicity. He self-identified as Anglo-Irish, yes, but that doesn't change that it's an ethnicity and thus doesn't belong in the lead, as it is not relevant to his notability. As Ireland was at the time of his birth part of the UK, he was initially both an Irishman and a Briton, and later simply Irish. However, it is very common to refer to people from the UK by the nationality of their constituent country E.g., "Sir Thomas Sean Connery (born 25 August 1930), better known as Sean Connery, is a Scottish actor and producer" or "Sir James Paul McCartney, MBE (born 18 June 1942) is an English musician" (talk) 16:12, 20 September 2011 (UTC)
Also, W._B._Yeats#Nobel_Prize makes it sound very strongly that he self identified as Irish. (talk) 16:48, 20 September 2011 (UTC)
of course, and you are correct, but as in many other instances, that is insufficent for some editors here, Anglo-Irish is a best a compromise Lugnad (talk) 18:03, 20 September 2011 (UTC)
  • Irish. I know it has already been said, but I possibly still needs stressing this is about whether to use his nationality or his ethnicity in the lead. "Anglo-Irish" refers to an ethnic group. It isn't a question of mixed parentage or dual citizenship. In terms of WP practice, WP:OPENPARA tells us that "Ethnicity ... should not generally be emphasized in the opening unless it is relevant to the subject's notability". So, Amy Winehouse is described as English (rather than Jewish), Omar Sharif is Egyptian (rather than Arab), Martin Scorsese is American (rather than Italian-American), Yeats is Irish (rather than Anglo-Irish). --FormerIP (talk) 18:49, 20 September 2011 (UTC)
I understand what you're saying, but this isn't as cut and dry. Ireland wasn't a sovereign state for the majority of Yeats's life – his nationality was equally – if not more so, as Ireland was only a constituent part of the UK – British. He was a citizen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. As an aside, his nationality is already "Irish" in the infobox. JonCTalk 18:57, 20 September 2011 (UTC)
Again, people from the UK aren't universally called British, there are many cases where they are referred to as being from their particular constituent country. (talk) 21:04, 20 September 2011 (UTC)
That's a separate issue, but it's also already covered here. So, we don't describe anyone on WP (AFAIK) as "a subject of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland" (BTW, we couldn't have British, becuase Ireland was only ever part of the UK, not Britain). Oscar Wilde is Irish, George Bernard Shaw is Irish and so on. --FormerIP (talk) 19:16, 20 September 2011 (UTC)
Oscar Wilde and G B Shaw weren't members of the Protestant Ascendancy that strongly identified with that particular class. "British" doesn't just relate to the island of Great Britain (there is no island of "Britain") – it's the denonym to describe any citizen of the United Kingdom. No such word as UK-ish. JonCTalk 19:46, 20 September 2011 (UTC)
Yes, which is why Yeats is Irish. Try finding an RS that refers to him as "British". --FormerIP (talk) 20:12, 20 September 2011 (UTC)
...? The United Kingdom before 1922 included the whole of Ireland. He was a British citizen. British means the UK. JonCTalk 20:16, 20 September 2011 (UTC)
(not that I'm suggesting we put this in the lead...) JonCTalk 20:17, 20 September 2011 (UTC)
OK, which I would say makes it not relevant anyway. The case is almost exactly parallel to Oscar Wilde, who was also Anglo-Irish and born only a decade earlier. --FormerIP (talk) 20:33, 20 September 2011 (UTC)
consider Charles Stewart Parnell "descended from an English merchant family" "connected with the aristocracy through the Powerscourts and distantly connected to the Royal Family", here on wikipedia he is Irish Lugnad (talk) 20:41, 20 September 2011 (UTC)

I wish ye nationalist worrying people would take yer arguments else where, this is an article about a poet, not an englishman or Irishman, I only reverted Jonchapple in the first place because he goes from article to article worry about these things and makeing them an issue and Im not interested but utterly sick of it. He turned up on my watchlist on Francis Bacon (artist), same thing again, which is trivial navel gaving compared to discussion of the work. Ye guys should have a meta argument in a trench where ye can pull each other apart out of view of editors concerned with discussion subject's work outside of current views of thier nationality, and the perennial circular bullshit ye seems so obsessed with is par for the course. Ceoil (talk) 23:30, 20 September 2011 (UTC)

I reverted undiscussed changes by the same IP to the Francis Bacon article. Now we're discussing what should be done with this one. You're more than welcome to not participate if it bores you so. Feel free to make some edits about the man's poetry. JonCTalk 05:40, 21 September 2011 (UTC)
I've moved his Anglo-Irishness into the first para and stuck his citizenship of the UK of GB and I into the appropriate field in the infobox. See what you think. JonCTalk 05:56, 21 September 2011 (UTC)
I've removed it. This page has been without an infobox for a long time and as soon as I have a moment I'll go through the history to see when it was added, but would prefer not to see an infobox and prefer not to see Anglo-Irish, which to me means nothing and makes me scratch my head. We need to think of the lay readers from all over the world, not a small slice of readers who might understand the nuances being put forward. Truthkeeper (talk) 11:27, 21 September 2011 (UTC)
Why have you got rid of the whole infobox? JonCTalk 11:42, 21 September 2011 (UTC)
Per consensus above [11]. The infobox was added with this edit, without an edit summary, and just slid past the page watchers. Also, just to explain re the terminology, where I live "Anglo" means white as in Caucasian, so in my view it's just really best to simplify this and leave it as Irish. Truthkeeper (talk) 17:44, 21 September 2011 (UTC)
OK, I won't object. However, with respect, what Anglo- means where you live isn't really of any relevance to this article – Anglo-Irish is a widely-used term to denote members of the former Protestant Ascendancy in Ireland. Yeats is Anglo-Irish, but per objections above, I've moved it to the first para. JonCTalk 17:56, 21 September 2011 (UTC)
  • Irish - Although, due to his ancestry, he may be legitimately characterized as Anglo-Irish that sort of subtlety would be misleading in the first sentence of the lead. His status as Anglo-Irish is already discussed later in the body of the article, and it is appropriate there. It is true that Ernest Shackleton is described as Anglo-Irish in his lead sentence, but there is a large distinction: Shackleton moved from Ireland to England at the age of 6, whereas Yeats was a more permanent resident of Ireland. --Noleander (talk) 18:58, 22 September 2011 (UTC)
It's really an issue for that talkpage, but that would be equally wrong. To express ambiguity about Shakleton's nationality, we should say something like "Irish-born English" or whatever is appropriate, not make reference to his ethnicity. --FormerIP (talk) 19:05, 22 September 2011 (UTC)
Anglo-Irish as Ireland was not independent at that time and that is how many people identified themselves. Jack1956 (talk) 12:55, 17 October 2011 (UTC)
'Anglo-Irish is not a nationality, it is a class', see the and Sheodred (talk) 11:14, 29 November 2011 (UTC)

Requested move[edit]

W. B. Yeats -->W.B. Yeats. Ceoil (talk) 23:59, 20 September 2011 (UTC)

Put in a redirect page and call it a day, this is not worth discussing if it amounts to removing the spacing in a name. ---- (talk) 22:03, 19 October 2011 (UTC) sorry, forgot to log in... --Scalhotrod - Just your average banjo playing, drag racing, cowboy... (talk) 22:04, 19 October 2011 (UTC)

I don't really understand why we need the full-stops at all. It looks silly, akin to when people write out "U.S.A." or "N.A.S.A.". JonCTalk 22:06, 19 October 2011 (UTC)
There's probably an MoS guideline on this. --FormerIP (talk) 22:15, 19 October 2011 (UTC)
MoS or M.o.S., FormerI.P.? :) JonCTalk 06:31, 20 October 2011 (UTC)
Har, prob M. o. S. And for once I agree with Jonchapple. Ceoil (talk) 22:14, 21 October 2011 (UTC)
Oppose. No reason for the move has been given, and it is standard English practice to put a space between initials. ---RepublicanJacobiteTheFortyFive 23:20, 21 October 2011 (UTC)

No its not. Ceoil (talk) 00:26, 22 October 2011 (UTC)

It's standard American English practice, but America is not the World... JonCTalk 11:09, 22 October 2011 (UTC)
And WB was -we'll agree at least- not American, so Brit Eng trumps here. Ceoil (talk) 11:25, 22 October 2011 (UTC)
I know it's against consensus, but I'm not crazy that the page was moved from William Butler Yeats to W. B. Yeats. That said, the spaces are annoying, however it's punctuated will be non-standard for someone, somewhere in the world, so I think it should go back to Willam Butler. If that's not possible, then the spaces should be removed in lieu of removing punctuation. I've been trying to ignore this, but ... well it's hard to. Truthkeeper (talk) 01:22, 23 October 2011 (UTC)
According to the Modern Language Association, abbreviations of (at least) up to three letters should be without periods or spaces. (In other words, it should be "WB Yeats"). Shrillpicc100 (talk) 23:58, 10 April 2014 (UTC)

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"...literally and symbolically, his 'country of the heart'." "Country of the heart" is figurative, not literal. Mike Hayes (talk) 17:17, 30 April 2012 (UTC)

Question regarding Yeats' health (section: Old Age and Death)[edit]

The section 'Old Age and Death' currently begins:

By early 1925, Yeats' health had stabilised...

But unless I missed it there was no preceding text that indicated he had health concerns. So as it stands it just sort of leaps out of nowhere. Can anyone fill the gap? --bodnotbod (talk) 15:34, 18 May 2012 (UTC)

Yeats' view of the Irish Language[edit]

Does anybody know what Yeats's view of Irish was? Did he ever go to the Gaeltacht like Synge to learn it? What role did he see for the language in his cultural revival? (I can't find the answers in this article) (talk) 17:26, 1 May 2014 (UTC)

Recent edits[edit]

There have a lot of new edits here in the past week, [12], and I'm wondering whether this page is being used for a class project? Certainly the page can do with some small amount of clean up and development, but to avoid it from being delisted from the WP:Featured article status, please make sure the edits adhere to Wikipedia's Manual of style. For now I've removed the infobox; adding one will require consensus. Thanks. Victoria (tk) 23:40, 30 November 2014 (UTC)

Hi there! We are conducting a project on Wikipedia, but our efforts are not simply about editing the page. We chose this page because we have spent several months in in-depth study with Yeats and his work and are concerned about the validity and accessibility of the page. Much of the content remains the same, we have only reorganized it to make it more cohesive, removed some of the unnecessary editorializing in Yeats's romantic life, and added to the Style section to assist readers in getting a better idea of Yeats, as he primarily operated in three periods. (See Howes, Marjorie. "Introduction" to the Yeats Cambridge Companion.) We did review the previous discussions regarding content and regarding the info box, but there has not been discussion on it in a few years and it seemed relevant. It makes more sense to delete controversial sections of the infobox than deleting the entire resource. Electriclights (talk) 00:04, 1 December 2014 (UTC)ElectricLights
Hi, thanks so much for responding. I've left a message at the Education noticeboard to see if we can get you some help from a Campus Ambassador, otherwise I'll offer to steer you. We have to follow certain guidelines in terms of structure and how the table of contents is set up, particularly for featured articles. It would have been great to see work done on his works, most of which really needs it, but in terms of editing the biography, it's fine as long as not too much clean up is required after. Infoboxes are not mandatory, and your professor might be interested in WP:DISINFO. Anyway, infoboxes are very contentious because some editors (those who work this page, for instance), don't necessarily believe in relegating an entire life to a box. So, yes, we like to get consensus. In terms of his romantic life - the relationships with Maud and Olivia were crucial to the poetry. Is there any way of doing the work without resectioning completely? Also when text gets moved, don't forget to move the accompanying citations so we don't end up with uncited and unreferenced sections. If you have questions, please don't hesitate to post here or you can post to my page too. In the meantime, I've undone the reversion because I suspect you all have to get this work done by a certain date. Victoria (tk) 00:35, 1 December 2014 (UTC)
Hi, I wonder if it would be better to revert and ask the students (assuming it's a class assignment) to work on a subpage. Live editing to a featured article is not such a good idea, given how much work has gone into the article. SlimVirgin (talk) 01:04, 1 December 2014 (UTC)
To my understanding, featured articles come with the invitation "Even so, if you can update or improve it, please do so.", and start their day on the Main page unprotected, so that even IP users can edit. It tells me that live editing to a featured article is welcome. - For an article I wrote, I would like updating edits in small portions, with precise edit summaries as to what was changed, to make checking (and if needed reverting) easier. --Gerda Arendt (talk) 07:22, 1 December 2014 (UTC)
That's a good idea, but I don't know whether the grade depends on having the work in mainspace and I wouldn't want them to get a bad grade because of my reversion. On the other hand, the most recent version I've reverted back to would be cause for a delisting, and that's not fair either. Electriclights can you let us know when the work is due, and maybe mention this in class to your professor? If he/she wants to, I'd be more than happy to explain, either here or in email. A user's email can be found by clicking on their user page, and then clicking the "email this user" link on the toolbox menu on the left of the screen. Also, I've asked Nikkimaria (who is a campus ambassador) to have a look. Victoria (tk) 01:27, 1 December 2014 (UTC)
Hello again! Thank you very much for the resources. Our project will be complete by Wednesday morning (December 3), but we are very interested in revitalizing discussion on the Yeats page. Here is a comprehensive list of our edits: (1) edited headings (adding periodization to biography and style to improve comprehension; (2) taking out the subheadings Maud Gonne and the Abbey Theatre, which were very important parts of Yeats's life and work, but which spanned his life - so we included parts of each in each of his life periods and did not actually take away any content about either except a bit about Maud Gonne's divorce, which seemed to be better suited to her page or the page of John MacBride; (3) adding The Occult under Early Years because this was where he primarily focused on the occult (though it is noted later that he did not give up this preoccupation later, it is just where he focused on it the most)); (4) adding an infobox (the current Featured Article for today has an infobox, so I'm not sure why adding one would dissolve this article's status as featured); and (5) adding content and poem excerpts to each of the "Style" subheadings (Early, Middle, and Later Years). We did do significant research on how best to approach editing the page and added references to our information, so while we may have underestimated the gravity of editing a main page, we did perform these edits with the intention of making the page more comprehensive and accessible to viewers. Would it be possible to continue conversation on permanently incorporating these edits? We did receive a few thank-yous for our edits to the page, so it seems that we are not isolated in our interest in improving the navigation of the page. At the very least, keeping the expanded Style section and infobox seem like they would improve the page tremendously. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Electriclights (talkcontribs) 16:02, 1 December 2014 (UTC)
HI Electriclights thanks for responding. Since it's due on Wednesday, I'll go through this afternoon and post a review here in terms of the edits made and why the article at this point might fail FA guidelines. I've only had time to glance at it, but I'm mostly worried that some inline citations got lost during the shifts. The article has degraded quite a bit over the years, so at this point it's important for us to keep the integrity and structure as much as possible to build on. Also, the section headers are problematic (think of our WP:MOS in terms of following MLA formatting rules. For featured articles, we tend to be picky. No the infobox wouldn't have cause a delisting, that's a separate issue. In regards to thanks, I hate to have to pull out dirty laundry, but like anywhere else Wikipedia has a lot of insider fighting and politics and unfortunately you guys have stepped into an issue that people have strong opinions of. In terms of revitalizing discussion and building improving the page - I'm all for it! It's a huge topic, difficult to distill into encyclopedic format, and so all the help is more than welcome. I'll post back later (and might make a few edits in the meantime, too). Thanks again for engaging in discussion. Victoria (tk) 18:07, 1 December 2014 (UTC)
Hi, Victoria; sorry to see the problem here. You might refer the students to WP:OWN#Featured articles. Also, since they never added a student template to the page, and don't seem to be working under any guidance of the Education Program, they might also consider WP:MEAT. Because I have never yet been shown an example of students staying on as regular Wikipedia editors once their course ended, and have found efforts to educate them about Wikipedia guidelines and policies to be in vain, I typically support reverting, and conservation of your own time in terms of explaining how Wikipedia works. The professor should have done that. If you find the material problematic, I support revert and let the professor come forward so s/he can be educated, and the students can be put through some of the Education Program training modules, or encouraged to work in sandbox. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 18:31, 1 December 2014 (UTC)


  • I don't have Howes at hand (and can't view on G-books and won't go out right now to the library) but I do have David Holdeman's The Cambridge Introduction to W. B. Yeats, (2008 ed). The article is now structured very similarly to what I see in the table of contents in that book, which gives me pause.
  • Does this addition have a souce?

    This poem, one of several Yeats poems titled with a year (with "Easter 1916" and "Nineteen Hundred and Nineteen"), is representative of Yeats's middle period because he does not conceal his sentiments with flowery language; rather, he says exactly what he means, unapologetically and with the name-dropping ("O'Leary," "Edward Fitzgerald," and "Wolfe Tone") and repetition that are identifying qualities of Yeats's poetry.

  • Also, try to vary the wording, "This can be seen", "This poem", etc.
  • Mention of "Dialogue between Self and Soul" has been removed here, but a cursory source check returns quite a lot about it. A full source check, i.,e into academic databases, would return more, so it's a point that should probably stay in. Here's what was removed from the article and it is referenced:

    Critics who admire his middle work might characterize it as supple and muscular in its rhythms and sometimes harshly modernist, while others find these poems barren and weak in imaginative power. Yeats's later work found new imaginative inspiration in the mystical system he began to work out for himself under the influence of spiritualism. In many ways, this poetry is a return to the vision of his earlier work. The opposition between the worldly-minded man of the sword and the spiritually-minded man of God, the theme of The Wanderings of Oisin, is reproduced in A Dialogue Between Self and Soul.[90]. Raine, Kathleen. "Yeats the Initiate". New York: Barnes & Noble, 1990. 327–329. ISBN 0-389-20951-1.

  • Disagree with moving mention of "The Second Coming" out of the biography article, diff. Sometimes we have overlap in literature articles, which is okay. But basically he was disenchanted in 1920, as was Ezra Pound, and in my view it's important to show context for the works within the biography/chronology.
  • Section headings, see here. Yeats and Marriage should be "Yeats and marriage", but more importantly he married Georgie. He didn't marry Olivia or Maude and so it's fine to mention Georgie here.
  • Issues with TOC and section levels. I don't have time at the moment to pull up all the relevant policies, but SandyGeorgia knows them off the top of her head and might be able to throw in the relevant links. Otherwise I'll add them myself later. Victoria (tk) 19:33, 1 December 2014 (UTC)
Yep, section headings are all off now, but if this article is now substantially duplicating one of the sources, in terms of organization, that does give pause in terms of respect of copyright, so why not just revert it all ? See WP:MSH. The section headings now have uppercase where they should not, special characters, and I'm unsure if they comply with bio guidelines, as I haven't kept up with those guidelines recently. ALso see WP:DASH-- there are now hyphens in the headings which should be WP:ENDASHes (and perhaps that has occurred throughout). Fastest way forward here may to be revert all, and then systemically review what is worth reinstating. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 21:10, 1 December 2014 (UTC)
I tried to find the full copy of the source they're using but can't. Looking through the new text, this bolded portion made me laugh for reasons that will be obvious to us:

Arnold wrote that the Celtic Peoples such as the Irish had a wild and imaginative Celtic temperament which characterized them as inferior to the English; however Yeats believed that these imaginative qualities were what distinguished Irish literature.<ref name="Cambridge University Press"/> During this time period Yeats also began to develop the symbol of the rose as a representation of Ireland.<ref>{{cite book|last1=Howes|first1=Marjorie|editor1-last=Howes|editor1-first=Marjorie|editor2-last=Kelly|editor2-first=John|title=The Cambridge Companion to W.B. Yeats|date=2006|publisher=Cambridge University Press|location=UK|isbn=978-0-521-65886-7|pages=1–18|chapter=Introduction}}</ref>

Anyway, huge page ranges, WP:CITEVAR issues, etc., etc., etc. I think we have a consensus to revert, so I'm reverting and then unwatching until my semester is finished. If the professor or any of the students want to get in touch with me, I'd be happy to engage in outreach. Victoria (tk) 23:11, 1 December 2014 (UTC)

Article lede is not a good overview[edit]

The article lede (the two paragraphs at the start) seems to have some rather obscure or trivial statements that don't seem important enough to belong in the introduction. Maybe someone can explain why it's significant that he wrote an introduction for Tagore. Why is Pound described as a Bollingen Prize laureate? Is this at all relevant? Is Pound even one of Yeats's closest friends? Is Yeats's relationship with e.g. Eliot more important? Is it more important to mention his great-grandfather (or his descent the Earls of Ormond) than his distinguished father? Is there anything else that should be included? I think it should mention his relationship to the late 19th century Celtic Revival in the UK, and should probably try to sum up his various intellectual threads (occult, Golden Dawn, mysticism, nationalism, etc) more neatly. Colapeninsula (talk) 17:36, 12 May 2015 (UTC)

Why is a bland white blanket, just like frozen snow. being spread over the biography of William Butler Yeats? Is Roy Foster being paid to bury facts about W B Yeats by the Irish Republic?[edit]

Dear Readers,

I just looked up the superb history of Yeats on Wikipedia. I've used it lots of times. It has taught me the basic facts about Yeats's life and shown me the difficult phases, when he became depressed, ill, or incapable. And it showed me his faults as well, his humanity, including his kindness, his way of finding and making the most of every opportunity to look after himself and his wider family, his multiple affairs.

Why did I need to know so much about him? Because in 2006 I discovered that I'm the grand-daughter of William Butler Yeats and Lily O'Neill. She doesn't appear in his biography at all because in 1925 she was murdered at the behest of Yeats's wife, George (she preferred a masculine name though she was christened Georgie.) Yeats's affair with Lily started when she was 19 and he was 54 and she bore his first son, Kevin O'Neill. but apart from being very young, she was also Catholic and working class, while Yeats was a Senator in the new Irish Free State. Nevertheless he was in love with her and not with his wife (as shown in his poetry). Enraged, George persuaded her best friend Kevin O'Higgins, the Vice-President of the new Free State and its Minister of Justice and External Affairs, to use his newly formed police force, the Garda Siochana. Accordingly O'Higgins ordered his recently-promoted Superintendent Leopold Dillon to find her and murder her. Yeats was also very worried about his son being murdered, as shown in his poem 'A Prayer To My Son'.

Over the last ten years I have been informing Roy Foster of the above since he has occupied the Chair of Carroll Professor of Irish Literature at Hertford College, Oxford University, but he has ignored me.

At the same time I have been requesting disclosure of the files and records of the murder of my grandmother, Lily O'Neill, fro the Irish Minister of Justice and the Garda Siochana, but they have also ignored me.

During this period I have noticed that fewer and fewer facts are available about Yeats. One example of this is the re-writing of the Wikipedia page on Yeats: nowadays the only biographer mentioned, out of the thousands who have written about him, is Foster - and he has very little to say, though his words are very soothing.

And Wikipedia is supposed to be the sum total of knowledge on a subject!Paddykraut (talk) 08:29, 24 January 2016 (UTC)

IRB membership[edit]

Surely Yeats' membership of the Irish Republican Brotherhood is worthy of at least a mention in this article? (talk) 13:28, 27 May 2016 (UTC)

Yes it does, in addition to some mention of Maud Gonne's influence and his activities for a few years after he joined. Richard Ellmann's book would be a good source but I do not have it. If you have that, or another reliable source, tell us the source and page number(s) of the part describing Yeats' membership in the IRB. Kablammo (talk) 15:16, 27 May 2016 (UTC)

Not an FA quality article[edit]

This article was promoted to FA in 2004, and reviewed last in 2007 when it was kept. The FA criteria have since changed a great deal, and I do not believe the article currently qualifies. It fails most dramatically on the criterion of comprehensiveness - leaving out almost all of his political life, about the contradictions of which much has been written, but also does not give an adequate introduction to his poetry and poetic views. I will leave this notice for a couple of weeks, and if there is no response I will move to nominate for a Featured Article Review.

Big sigh. Okay, Maunus, I have sources I bought years ago but never got around to working on this. It's not in terrible shape and hadn't bubbled to the top, so to speak, but I'll take a crack at it. I very much doubt that I'll get to it before the required two weeks, just so you know. Victoriaearle (tk) 16:54, 14 January 2017 (UTC)
I'll be happy to help with it. I think it could perhaps do with a total restructuring. The two weeks aren't a hard deadline - just something I said to instill a sense of urgency. ;)·maunus · snunɐɯ· 17:04, 14 January 2017 (UTC)
I'm kinda of not in wiki-urgent mode right now. :) Thanks, help is appreciated. Ceoil did a lot of work here too and I know he has sources, so it's doable. Will add it to the list. Victoriaearle (tk) 17:09, 14 January 2017 (UTC)
I don't disagree with Maunus's assessment. It certainly needs work here and there, good to see that fact brought to a head. The additions today, for eg, were very strong. I'd be up for a rework. Maunus, how do you see restructuring needs, as opposed to gaps in coverage. Ceoil (talk) 20:54, 14 January 2017 (UTC)
Oh, I don't disagree either and let's be honest, we've known for a long time. I have Butler, Volume 1 at hand, and I think a Cambridge Companion (if I don't have the Cambridge Companion, I should), so can start getting a grip on some of the reading soonish. Victoriaearle (tk) 00:17, 15 January 2017 (UTC)
I'd add that we didnt explain this as well as we might - Yeats' love was unrequited, in part due to his reluctance to participate in her nationalist activism.[40]. Vic, I agree that we saw this coming. A structured review would be welcome. I see gaps here and there, but all doable. But his political views in hindsight were not very admirable; I dont want to explore them that much, beyond a summary outline. His style is explored in dept; although here and there on the page. Ceoil (talk) 02:04, 15 January 2017 (UTC)


The caption under the last photo lists an incorrect date for Yeats's death. He died in 1939, but the caption says 1989. User: 19:43 4 May 2017 (UTC)

Thank you! It has now been fixed. Kablammo (talk) 19:52, 4 May 2017 (UTC)

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