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Selected Poems and Two Plays
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Selected Poems and Two Plays

4.11 of 5 stars 4.11  ·  rating details  ·  131 ratings  ·  5 reviews
195 poems representing the essential poetic achievement of this master of the English language
Paperback, 236 pages
Published February 20th 1962 by MacMillan Publishing Company (first published February 1962)
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Apr 02, 2009 Dan rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: poetry
A selection from one of the finest poets of the twentieth century. Yeats writes about Irish myth, contemporary Irish politics, morality, the relation of art to life, and, in his later work, poems based on a personal mythological system. These latter, including “The Second Coming,” “Sailing to Byzantium” and “Byzantium,” along with poems like “The Circus Animals’ Desertion” and “Lapis Lazuli,” are among his best.
Yeats’ speaks with a more moving and emotionally engaging voice about the middle of his long writing career in 1914-15 with poems like the short “A Coat”, “The Magi”, and the powerful “Easter 1916” about the failed Irish revolt whose participants were all but one executed. The memorable chorus “A terrible beauty is born” suggests that Yeats is speaking with a new and more powerful voice. It begins a stage in his career when his even more powerful and disturbing poems will come out such as “The S ...more
I'll not deny that Yeats is a great poet, but I will say that a lot of his work went way over my head. As such, I would have appreciated a volume that helped me to decode his work more than this did.

That said, this appears to be a fairly comprehensive overview and introduction to the famous poet's work.
My rating is more for the anthology than Yeats' poetry. It's hard to give a fair assessment when so many poems are clearly divorced from their contextualizing poem companions.
I enjoy Yeats, always have. And, of course, the more I learn of his history and the socio-political environment in which he composed the greater appreciation I have.
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  • Collected Poems in English and French
  • Selected Poems
  • Collected Plays 2 {The Lion and the Jewel; Kongi's Harvest; The Trials of Brother Jero; Jero's Metamorphosis; Madmen and Specialists}
  • Selected Poems: 1931-2004
  • The Spirit Level
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  • Selected Poems
  • Collected Poems, 1948-1984
  • Everyman and Medieval Miracle Plays (Everyman's Library)
  • The Selected Poems
  • The Haiku Anthology
  • The Figured Wheel: New and Collected Poems, 1966-1996
  • The Plough and the Stars
  • Plays: Mrs. Warren's Profession / Arms and the Man / Candida / Man and Superman
  • The Essential Haiku: Versions of Basho, Buson, and Issa
  • Selected Poems and Letters
  • The Best Poems of the English Language: From Chaucer Through Frost
  • Loading Mercury With a Pitchfork
William Butler Yeats (pronounced /ˈjeɪts/) was an Irish poet and dramatist, and one of the foremost figures of 20th century literature. A pillar of both the Irish and British literary establishments, in his later years Yeats served as an Irish Senator for two terms. He was a driving force behind the Irish Literary Revival, and along with Lady Gregory and Edward Martyn founded the Abbey Theatre, se ...more
More about W.B. Yeats...
The Collected Poems Irish Fairy and Folk Tales Selected Poems Poetry, Drama and Prose Selected Poems and Four Plays

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