Essay Title: 

William Butler Yeats

March 19, 2016 | Author: | Posted in english literature, literature and language

If I had not made magic my constant study I could not have written a single word of my Blake book , nor would The Countess Kathleen ever have come to exist . The mystical life is the centre of all that I do and all that I think and all that I write (Ellman , 94 ) These words belong to William Butler Yeats and outline Yeats ‘s work as a poet

William Butler Yeats was born in Dublin and educated at the Godolphin School , Hammersmith , and the High School , Dublin . For three years he studied [banner_entry_middle]

at the School of Art in Dublin , where with a fellow student , G Russell , he developed an interest in mystic religion and the supernatural

`Mysticism ‘ in Yeats ‘ life

In London he became a central figure in the bohemian circles where literary fashion and supernatural experimentalism met and often overlapped . Yeats was also involved into various Parisian subcultures and experimenting with hashish and mescal . At the time these cultural underworlds served , for these intellectuals , as a kind of alternative university . This was especially true of occultism . From his time at the School of Art in Dublin Yeats had been interested in various exotic and mystical theories and ideas . Later Yeats found the answers to his emotional and psychological requirements in the kind of occult society the of the Golden Dawn . The combination of secret society and intellectual obstacle race appealed to him he proceeded through its grades and rituals , devoted an astonishing amount of time to it , and used it to focus his wide-ranging reading in mystic and occultist writings

`Mysticism ‘ in Yeats ‘ work

Theosophical beliefs and the occult formed much of the basis of his poetry . National and spiritual liberation combined with Yeats ‘ occult ideas and this was reflected in the poems of vision and apocalypse which he wrote at this time

Thy great leaves enfold

The ancient beards , the helms of ruby and gold

Of the crowned Magi and the king whose eyes

Saw the Pierced Hands and Rood of elder rise

In Druid vapour and make the torches dim

The Secret Rose

The souls of the dead , the spirits and demons of the atmosphere , and the gods of pagan Ireland , alluded to throughout most of Yeats ‘ early occult poems and are the subject of the following : The Stolen Child , The Hosting of the Sidhe and The Unappeasable Host . In the last of the preceding poems Yeats also attempts an odd synthesis of three distinctly different religious traditions . The Tuatha de Danaan of Celtic myth are juxtaposed with the Kabbalist ‘s flaming West ‘ and the Christian ‘s Mother Mary

The Danaan children laugh , in cradles of wrought gold

And clap their hands together , and half dose their eyes

For they will ride the North when the get-eagle flies

With heavy whitening wings , and a heart fallen cold

I kiss my wailing child and press it to my breast

And hear the narrow graves calling my child and me

Desolate winds that cry over the wandering… [banner_entry_footer]


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