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

A Crazed Girl

THAT crazed girl improvising her music.
Her poetry, dancing upon the shore,

Her soul in division from itself
Climbing, falling She knew not where,
Hiding amid the cargo of a steamship,
Her knee-cap broken, that girl I declare
A beautiful lofty thing, or a thing
Heroically lost, heroically found.

No matter what disaster occurred
She stood in desperate music wound,
Wound, wound, and she made in her triumph
Where the bales and the baskets lay
No common intelligible sound
But sang, 'O sea-starved, hungry sea.'

Read the full of A Crazed Girl

The White Birds

I WOULD that we were, my beloved, white birds on the foam of the sea!
We tire of the flame of the meteor, before it can fade and flee;
And the flame of the blue star of twilight, hung low on the rim of the sky,
Has awaked in our hearts, my beloved, a sadness that may not die.
A weariness comes from those dreamers, dew-dabbled, the lily and rose;
Ah, dream not of them, my beloved, the flame of the meteor that goes,
Or the flame of the blue star that lingers hung low in the fall of the dew:

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