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The Poetry of W. B. Yeats

Class at Faculty of Arts |


22 Feb: Introduction 1 Mar: The Stolen Child The Rose of the World The Lake Isle of Innisfree The Sorrow of Love Who Goes with Fergus? The Man who Dreamed of Faeryland To Ireland in the Coming Times The Song of Wandering Aengus He Wishes for the Cloths of Heaven The Fiddler of Dooney The Secret Rose (All from Poems 1895, and The Wind Among the Reeds (1899)) 8 Mar: The Wanderings of Oisin [long poem] 15 Mar: The Folly of Being Comforted Adam’s Curse No Second Troy The Fascination of What’s Difficult All Things Can Tempt Me September 1913 On Those Who Hated ‘The Playboy of the Western World’, 1907 The Cold Heaven A Coat Closing Rhyme (beginning ‘While I, from that reed-throated whisperer’) (All from In the Seven Woods (1904), The Green Helmet and Other Poems (1910), Responsibilities (1914)) 22 Mar: The Wild Swans at Coole [collection] 29 Mar: Michael Robartes and the Dancer [collection] 5 Apr:Chapter 1, W. B.

Yeats and World Literature (2016) by Barry Shiels 12 Apr:***Class moved to Thurs 11 April, 12.30***Lecture by Dr Barry Shiels (Durham University)W.B. Yeats and the Scale of PoetryThis lecture considers the problem of scale in Yeats’s poetry, specifically the way that certain of his poems produce their effects by layering different temporal and spatial dimensions: the personal, the national, the European, the global, and even the planetary.  Can we read one scale against another? And might a focus on the problem of scale – themes of size, distance and perspective – help us understand the political and aesthetic contradictions of Yeats’s verse? I will pay close attention to three poems: ‘An Irish Airman Foresees His Death’, ‘Lapis Lazuli’ and ‘High Talk’.19 Apr: National Holiday 26 Apr: The Tower [collection] 3 May: The Tower (cont’d) 10 May: Class cancelled.

See details of make-up class on 28 May.17 May: The Tower (cont’d)24 May:The Winding Stair and Other Poems 28  MayLast Poems. Make-up class on Tue 28 May, 9.30am at Portheimka Cafe.

Please let me know in advance if you can't make this.


In this course we'll read the poems of W. B.

Yeats in chronological order from his early Celtic Twilight phase to the late great poems of the 1920s and '30s. The emphasis will be on close reading of the poems themselves.

There will also be a guest lecture by a leading Yeats scholar, Dr Barry Shiels.

Study programmes