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Collected Poems of W.B. Yeats

(The Collected Works of W.B. Yeats #1)

4.24  ·  Rating details ·  33,699 ratings  ·  369 reviews
W. B. Yeats was Romantic and Modernist, mystical dreamer and leader of the Irish Literary Revival, Nobel prizewinner, dramatist and, above all, poet. He began writing with the intention of putting his 'very self' into his poems. T. S. Eliot, one of many who proclaimed the Irishman's greatness, described him as 'one of those few whose history is the history of their own ...more
Paperback, 432 pages
Published September 5th 2000 by Wordsworth Editions (first published 1895)
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Hunter Ross The book "Collected Poems (Macmillan Collector's Library) July 19, 2016" Does indeed! My all time favorite:
"The Cloths of Heaven
Had I the heaven's…more
The book "Collected Poems (Macmillan Collector's Library) – July 19, 2016" Does indeed! My all time favorite:
"The Cloths of Heaven
Had I the heaven's 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.

W. B. Yeats"(less)
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Oct 17, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites, nobels
"For books continue each other, in spite of our habit of judging them separately."

This quote from Virginia Woolfs A Room of One's Own comes to my mind when I sit down to have a closer look at one of my favourite poets. For it wasnt Yeats I was searching for when I went through my shelves today. It was Things Fall Apart, Chinua Achebes classic novel. Seeing Yeats in the shelf, however, I remembered that the title is from his famous poem The Second Coming, and I opened the earmarked poetry
Ahmad Sharabiani
The Collected Poems of W.B. Yeats (The Collected Works of W.B. Yeats #1), W.B. Yeats, Richard J. Finneran (Editor)
To a child dancing in the wind

Dance there upon the shore;
What need have you to care
For wind or water's roar?
And tumble out your hair
That the salt drops have wet;
Being young you have not known
The fool's triumph, nor yet
Love lost as soon as won
Nor the best labourer dead
And all the sheaves to bind
What need have you to dread
The monstrous crying of the wind?
تاریخ نخستین خوانش: بیست و نهم
Apr 04, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Not everything in here works for me, but Yeats is never less than a pleasure to read. As others have remarked upon, he's what one might describe as a proper poet: his rhythmic structure and rhymes flow off of the reading tongueand at his best, he cannot be touched for the ariose beauty of his lyrical genius.
Before the World Was Made

If I make the lashes dark
And the eyes more bright
And the lips more scarlet,
Or ask if all be right
From mirror after mirror,
No vanity's displayed:
I'm looking for
Leo .
Dec 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Just looking at my bookcase and brushing off some old books covered in dust. Man how did I miss Yeats? Literary genius. 👍🐯
Biblio Curious
Still my favourite poet of all time! Read this one cover to cover, spent heaps of time leisurely sifting through these evocative, elliptic lines of eternity. Gyres, skies, stars & wisdom ensues. The meaning, like a carefully crafted lake of silent water, tilted ever so slightly that the form is just out of your mind's reach. If these mysterious words draw you in & make you curious, perhaps this poetry collection is for you. If they repel you, perhaps Wordsworth is your kind of poet. It ...more
Alexis Hall
Okay. Cards on the table.

I'm not actually that into Yeats. I mean, he's fine, don't get me wrong. Kind of an interesting dude with his Cabalism and his Jacob Black-esque mother-to-daughter romantic transference thing.

And some of his poetry I can't deny is pretty impressive stuff: the one about wishing for the cloths of the heaven, and the second coming, and the lake isle of innisfree. All that silver apples of the moon stuff. Very nice.

But, honestly, I used to keep this on my bedside table in

Yeats, Yeats, what can you say?

Ireland. Mysticism. Longing. Despair. PO-etry!

This is a surprisingly consistent, formidable, subtle and wide ranging oeuvre and I'm not the only person to have overheard the suggestion that Yeats was the greatest poet of the 20th Century.

Lets not forget the influence. Not only in Ireland but in elsewhere, as part of some variation on the human cultural inheritance. As far as I can tell, there were at least three major (to my mind, anyway) poets who admitted that
Jan 30, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have given hourlong recitations of Yeats's poems, among the easiest to recall in English; for example, his tetrameters in the late "Under Ben Bulben" which contains his epitaph. I defy you to say this aloud three times without knowing most of it by heart: "Whether man dies in his bed,/ Or the rifle knocks him dead,/ A brief parting from those dear/ Is the worst man has to fear." And his own epitaph is memorable, "Cast a cold eye/ On life, on death/ Horseman, pass by!" It is anti-conventional, ...more
Steven Walle
Sep 27, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry
The poetry was very good but rather depressing. I believe he could have used some happy pills. I would recommend it to all however.
Enjoy and Be Blessed.
My favourite piece of Yeats, which I've known since I was a teenager. I've never really figured out what it means, but I think it's wonderful all the same:
Rose of all Roses, Rose of all the World!
You, too, have come where the dim tides are hurled
Upon the wharves of sorrow, and heard ring
The bell that calls us on; the sweet far thing.
Beauty grown sad with its eternity
Made you of us, and of the dim grey sea.
Our long ships loose thought-woven sails and wait,
For God has bid them share an
Czarny Pies
In the fall of my last year in high school, I read extensively from this book in order to prepare my fall term paper. I chose Yeats because the Clancy Brothers occasionally included readings of poems by Yeats on their records and in their concerts. Given that the Clancy Brothers were very close Bob Dylan they constituted for me an important authority.

Looking back I realized now what an anomaly Yeats was. He was a master of cadence, sound and rhyme skills that are no longer valued by English
Liz Janet
Jan 11, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favourites
The woods of Arcady are dead,
And over is their antique joy;
Of old the world on dreaming fed;
Grey Truth is now her painted toy;
Yet still she turns her restless head:

Everything he writes is beauty personified, from his love poems to his Irish mythology.

We sat grown quiet at the name of love;
We saw the last embers of daylight die,
And in the trembling blue-green of the sky
A moon, worn as if it had been a shell
Washed by times waters as they rose and fell
About the stars and broke in days and
May 08, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: lovers of Irish legends and the metaphysical
Shelves: sensual, spirit, lush
Aaah W.B, you were my first love! The first poet that ever made me cry real tears purely from the beauty of words. I travelled from the other side of the world to visit your grave and leave you flowers as thanks.
It is very hard to pick a favourite poem but if pressed on the subject I guess it would be:

He Wishes for the Cloths of Heaven

Had I the heavens' embroidered cloths,
Enwrought with the golden and silver light,
The blue and the dim and the dark cloths
Of night and light and half-light,
Apr 20, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own, poetry, 4-star, uk-ireland


Crossways (1889)
--The Song of the Happy Shepherd
--The Sad Shepherd
--The Cloak, the Boat, and the Shoes
--Anashuya and Vijaya
--The Indian upon God
--The Indian to his Love
--The Falling of the Leaves
--The Madness of King Goll
--The Stolen Child
--To an Isle in the Water
--Down by the Salley Gardens
--The Meditation of the Old Fisherman
--The Ballad of Father O'Hart
--The Ballad of Moll Magee
--The Ballad of the Foxhunter

The Rose (1893)
--To the Rose upon the Rood of
Jul 26, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
If not for The Wanderings of Oisin, this was a 2.5/5.

I think half of Yeats's poems include the word "dew." It's used so many times it actually increasingly pissed me off with each successive occurrence and almost culminated in my throwing the book across the room.

Joyce was entirely right in his criticism of Yeats.

Save for a few good poems, the rest are entirely forgettable.
Cindy Rollins
Oct 03, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019
This was an extensive collection of Yeats poems. Some were magnificent, some easy to read, others difficult and obscure. Great for Kindle since I could hover over proper nouns and strange words to learn more. Complex just like the Irish poet himself. ...more
Feb 15, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I like Yeats, I think. Mostly because he likes Irish mythology and writes lots of poems about it - a basic knowledge of Irish myths is helpful, but not totally necessary.

One of my favorites, for sheer Icky But Awesome Factor, is Leda and the Swan. My class spent nearly an hour discussing it and I almost understand it.


A sudden blow: the great wings beating still
Above the staggering girl, her thighs caressed
By the dark webs, her nape caught in his bill,
He holds her helpless
Douglas Wilson
Dec 22, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry
Frequently did not know what was going on, but enjoyed many wonderful phrases and images. An endless wood, full of Celtic twilight.
Nick Black
Mar 23, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
When you hear a slouch
In your neighborhood
What troubles your sight?
(I ain't afraid of no rough beasts!)
I wasn't sure how I felt about Yeats, so I went through and can more or less confirm that he wrote some good poems later in his career -- even a few very good poems -- but that the bulk of his work, particularly the early stuff more rooted in Irish folklore and the ethos of the pre-Raphaelites, felt just a little bit too Lord of the Rings-meets-Michael Flatley for me to actually like. Maybe it's because I'm not Irish, maybe it's my being firmly here and now in the 21st Century, but I have to ...more
Jul 01, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If it were possible to award a book six stars out of a possible five, I would award it for this volume. I purchased this book last month in Galway, Ireland, and believe that it is not yet available in the US. The book contains Yeats complete and unabridged verse, exclusive of his plays. All the poems are arranged chronologically, and if one knows the poets biography it is thus easy to recognize allusions in the verses to what might otherwise be obscure, greatly enhancing ones understanding and ...more
Jul 19, 2012 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: fans of poetry
Recommended to Nikoline by: no one
The Collected Poems of W.B. Yeats by William Butler Yeats has a gift for language even when the subject of his poetry devolves into repetition of Irish myths. His way with words is admirable, and even though I am not very religious, his poems about God and angles really got to me.

There is no doubt that he is a Shakespeare with his words, but he is still rather good and very enjoyable on rainy days. My favourite poem also happens to be written by Yeats and it goes like this: A mermaid found a
Oct 31, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In 1969, a late Saturday afternoon, when having just hitched just a single ride, for two long days, from Kabalda mining camp to Melbourne with a couple cattlemen from Carnavon, I arrived at the home of two nurses from Scotland I had met on the ship from Vancouver. They were preparing for a party.
The next morning, I heard that I'd been impressive the night before quoting
Feb 21, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry
He's conceited. He's an elitist. He's sexist. He's more than a little crazy. But he's also a genius so we'll forgive him all that.

That's what my Yeats teacher told me anyways!
Bernie Gourley
Oct 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This collection gathers about 300 poems from 12 poetry collections by Yeats. Most of the dozen collections are included in their entirety.

Yeats is considered by some to be the best poet of the 20th century and by most to be among the best. Most poetry readers will be familiar with Yeats more commonly anthologized poems such as: The Lake Isle of Innisfree, The Second Coming, Leda and the Swan, and Sailing to Byzantium. However, many readers may not be familiar with the full scope of his work.
Mar 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry, ireland
"Words alone are certain good."
Claudia  Ciardi
Aug 24, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
There are in history so huge personalities, so creative and rich minds that they inlet at a deeper level the normal progress of arts and change without solution the direction of its stream.
Of Dante Eliot said: Dantes is a visual imagination.
Of Yeats we can say that his poetry is visionary matter in a symbolic motion.
All Yeats art could be read as a formula alchemica and were led on this path of symbols which feeds the visual associations at any rank.
The Wild Swans at Coole celebrate the
Nov 13, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Some beautiful poems on life, aging and love. Some of my favorites:

- The sad shepherd
- Ephemera
- Down by the salley gardens
- The white birds
- He wishes for the cloths of heaven
- Beggar to beggar cried
- To a child dancing in the wind
- Shepherd and goatherd
- A prayer for my daughter
- Meditations in time of civil war
- Words for music perhaps - XV Three things

Two poems I will quote:

He wishes for the cloths of heaven

Had I the heaves' embroidered cloths,
Enwrought with golden and silver light,
The blue
I have enjoyed the poetry of William Butler Yeats for many years as evidenced by my well-worn copy of his Complete Poems. But there is more to enjoy when considering this protean author for throughout his long life, William Butler Yeats produced important works in every literary genre, works of astonishing range, energy, erudition, beauty, and skill. His early poetry is memorable and moving. His poems and plays of middle age address the human condition with language that has entered our ...more
Mar 25, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics, poetry
What can one say about William Butler Yeats accept that he was an amazing poet! He is a true inspiration to anyone who longs to write from their heart, mind, and soul. My favorite poem of his is entitled "Sailing to Byzantium" and contains some of the greatest lines ever written in poetry. Here is just a snippet:

THAT is no country for old men. The young
In one another's arms, birds in the trees
Those dying generations - at their song,
The salmon-falls, the mackerel-crowded seas,
Fish, flesh,
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William Butler Yeats 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, serving as its chief ...more

Other books in the series

The Collected Works of W.B. Yeats (1 - 10 of 12 books)
  • The Collected Works of William Butler Yeats
  • Autobiographies (The Collected Works of W.B. Yeats, Volume 3)
  • The Collected Works, Vol. 4: Early Essays
  • The Collected Works, Vol. 5: Later Essays
  • Prefaces and Introductions
  • Letters to the New Island
  • The Collected Works, Vol. 8: The Irish Dramatic Movement
  • The Collected Works, Vol. 9: Early Articles and Reviews
  • The Collected Works, Vol X: Later Articles & Reviews: Uncollected Articles, Reviews & Radio Broadcasts Written After 1900
  • John Sherman / Dhoya (The Collected Works of W.B. Yeats, Volume 12)

Articles featuring this book

Every month is a good month to appreciate poetry, but in April it's an official thing. Founded in 1996 by the Academy of American Poets, Natio...
48 likes · 28 comments
“Come away, O human child!
To the waters and the wild
With a faery, hand in hand,
For the world's more full of weeping than you can understand.”
“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”
More quotes…