Irish Fairy and Folk Tales (Paperback)
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|*Author: Yeats, W. B. *Publication Date: 2003/02/01 *Number of Pages: 400 *Binding Type: Paperback *Language: English *Depth: 1.00 *Width: 5.00 *Height: 11.50|
From the Publisher:
Gathered by the renowned Irish poet, playwright, and essayist William Butler Yeats, the sixty-five tales and poems in this delightful collection uniquely capture the rich heritage of the Celtic imagination. Filled with legends of village ghosts, fairies, demons, witches, priests, and saints, these stories evoke both tender pathos and lighthearted mirth and embody what Yeats describes as “the very voice of the people, the very pulse of life.”
“The impact of these tales doesn’t stop with Yeats, or Joyce, or Oscar Wilde,” writes Paul Muldoon in his Foreword, “for generations of readers in Ireland and throughout the world have found them flourishing like those persistent fairy thorns.”
It is generally agreed that Yeats is one of the great 20th-century poets; his poetry is marked by its integration of Irish myths with modern psychology. Born in Dublin in 1865, Yeats was the son of a painter and assumed that he too would make a career as an artist. However, he turned to poetry in his late teens, when he "lived, breathed, ate, drank and slept poetry." He lived in London from 1867 to 1883, but also spent a great deal of time in Ireland, particularly in County Sligo, which became an important landscape in his poetry. He became interested in the occult, an interest that culminated, later in life, in experiments with his wife (Georgina Hyde-Lees, whom he married in 1917) in automatic writing, which became the basis for many of his poems. Yeats was also a lifelong advocate of Irish nationalism, and much of his work includes elements of Irish tradition and history in an attempt to awaken his readers to the importance of the Irish spirit. His long devotion to the activist Maud Gonne (who married someone else in 1903) was another influence, inspiring a series of erotic and symbolic love poems. His association with the Abbey Theatre, for which he wrote patriotic plays, broadened his subject matter and his ambition, and after he met Ezra Pound in 1912, Yeats's poetry became tougher and less lyrical. In 1922 he was elected a senator of the Irish Free State, and in 1923 he was awarded the Nobel Prize in literature. In his last years, Yeats's politics became more conservative, and his poetry became more visionary and obscure. He continued to write until a few days before his death. His tombstone in Sligo bears lines from one of his last poems: "Cast a cold eye/On life, on death./ Horseman, pass by!"
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