William Butler Yeats

[W.B. Yeats] (13 June 1865 – 28 January 1939 / County Dublin / Ireland)

William Butler Yeats Quotes

  • ''We make out of the quarrel with others, rhetoric, but of the quarrel with ourselves, poetry.''
    William Butler Yeats (1865-1939), Irish poet, playwright. "Anima Hominis," sct. 5, Essays (1924).
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  • ''Englishmen are babes in philosophy and so prefer faction-fighting to the labour of its unfamiliar thought.''
    William Butler Yeats (1865-1939), Irish poet, playwright. Letter, March 24, 1927. The Letters of W.B. Yeats, ed. Allan Wade (1954).
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  • ''I agree about Shaw—he is haunted by the mystery he flouts. He is an atheist who trembles in the haunted corridor.''
    William Butler Yeats (1865-1939), Irish poet, playwright. Letter, July 1, 1921, to author George Russell. The Letters of W.B. Yeats, ed. Allan Wade (1954). Yeats expressed ambiguous views toward Shaw in his Autobiography (1938): "We all hated him with the left side of our heads, while admiring him immensely with the right side."
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  • ''Man can embody truth but he cannot know it.''
    William Butler Yeats (1865-1939), Irish poet, playwright. letter, Jan. 4, 1939. The Letters of W.B. Yeats, ed. Allan Wade (1954). Yeats died Jan. 28, 1939.
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  • ''I am of a healthy long lived race, and our minds improve with age.''
    William Butler Yeats (1865-1939), Irish poet. Letter, June 24, 1935. The Letters of W.B. Yeats, ed. Allan Wade (1954).
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Best Poem of William Butler Yeats

The Second Coming

TURNING and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
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.
Surely some revelation is at hand;
Surely the Second Coming is at hand.
The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out
When a vast image out of i{Spiritus Mundi}
Troubles my sight: somewhere in sands of the desert
A shape with lion ...

Read the full of The Second Coming

Her Anxiety

Earth in beauty dressed
Awaits returning spring.
All true love must die,
Alter at the best
Into some lesser thing.
Prove that I lie.

Such body lovers have,
Such exacting breath,
That they touch or sigh.
Every touch they give,
Love is nearer death.
Prove that I lie.