Had I the heavensí embroidered cloths,
Enwrought with golden and silver light,
The blue and the dim and the dark cloths,
Of night and light and the half light,
I would spread the cloths under your feet:
But I, being poor, have only my dreams;
I have spread my dreams under your feet;
Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.
-"Aed Wishes for the Cloths of Heaven"
William Butler Yeats (1865-1939) was an Irish
poet, Nobel Prize
winner and well-known/often-cited
literary figure. He was inspired by Irish myth and folklore
as well as the writings of William Blake
This guy is responsible for a lot of the Stock Quotes
floating around in pop culture. His poem "The Second Coming
" is the source of many Literary Allusion Titles
and is his most famous and most referenced worknote
. If you hear a Fauxlosophic Narration
, read a snippet of poetry preceding a bunch of prose or even see a character trying to sound deep and meaningful, there is a reasonably good chance that William Butler Yeats is being quoted.
He also had, like most great poets, something of a dirty streak, although nowhere near as wide that of Shakespeare
or his contemporary James Joyce
Also, his last name is pronounced
"Yates," not "Yeets."
The entirety of his work can be found here
Tropes featured in his works
- Arcadia: He viewed the place he spent his summers in Sligo as this. He expresses his desire to live this way permanently in "The Lake Isle of Inishfree".
- Betty and Veronica: In "A Prayer For My Daughter", he observes that courtesy, charm, and kindness may trump beauty.
- Death Seeker: "An Irish Airman Foresees his Death"
- Designated Villain: "September 1913" attacks the Catholic merchant middle classes for being greedy and materialistic. It was inspired by the city council not wanting to give money to open an art gallery at the request of Hugh Lane...right when living conditions in the city were terrible. So chances are they might not have wanted to splash out on something quite so frivolous.
- Everyone Loves Blondes: "For Anne Gregory"
- The Fair Folk: He seems to have really believed in them which makes sense as he was both a Celtophile and an occultist.
- So Beautiful, It's a Curse: In "A Prayer for my Daughter", he wants a little less than this.
- Swans A Swimming: "The Wild Swans at Coole"
- Take That: "September 1913" is one to the Catholic merchant middle classes.
- The One That Got Away: Maud Gonne. He proposed to her several times, including a week after her husband's funeral.