Tag Archives: William Butler Yeats

Prayer for My Granddaughters

As Hurricane Irma bears down on Florida after having devastated several islands, I find myself delivering up Yeats’s “Prayer for My Daughter.”

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Can Poetry Stop This Man?

Poetry may not have been able to stop Donald Trump, but it has its ways of mounting resistance. Poems by Tennyson, Auden, and Yeats explain how.

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The Terrible Beauty of Political Fanatics

While many are celebrating the centenary of Ireland’s Easter uprising, Yeats’s famous poem on the rebellion offers us cautions about how to respond to such acts of rebellion today.

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To Enjoy Reading Is To Enjoy Instruction

David Foster Wallace, like Plato, Horace, and Sidney before him, wrestles with the dichotomy between reading for enjoyment and reading for instruction. But what if this is a false dichotomy.

Posted in Wallace (David Foster), Yeats (William Butler) | Also tagged | 8 Comments

Trump as Yeats’s Rough Beast

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar accuses Donald Trump of being the actual terrorist and compares him to Yeats’s “rough beast” in “The Second Coming.”

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Two Exam Poems To Lift Your Spirits

For students encounter end-of-semester pressure, here are two comic poems about exams. Laughter is an important resource for you at the moment.

Posted in Bevington (Helen), Browning (Elizabeth Barrett), Keats (John), Shelley (Percy), Townshend (F. H.), Wordsworth (William), Yeats (William Butler) | Also tagged , , , | 2 Comments

Bloodless Criticism Undermines Lit

Literature can function as an evasion as well as a guide. But only if we talk about it in evasive ways.

Posted in Byron (Lord Gordon), Hardy (Thomas), King (Lily), Yeats (William Butler) | Also tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Yeats & Ireland’s World of Faery

Yeats’ “Stolen Child” longs for the lost world of faery but also finds something precious in the here and now world of Ireland.

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“Leda and the Swan”–Warning Necessary?

Yeats’ “Leda and the Swan” contains a disturbing description of a rape. Should teachers issue warnings before teaching it?

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I Am of Ireland

Yeats captures the enduring myth that is Ireland in two poems.

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Disaster Ahead, No More Fantasizing

Can the Tea Party move beyond fantasies and deal with the world as it really is? Shakespeare and Yeats weigh in.

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Uncontrollable Mystery on the Bestial Floor

A Yeats poem about the Magi helps us transition out of Christmas and back into our work lives.

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If They Lose, Irish Can Turn to Poetry

Even if they lose the national championship game, the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame have Ireland’s poetic legacy to fall back on.

Posted in Joyce (James), Swift (Jonathan), Yeats (William Butler) | Also tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

The End of the World As We Know It?

A number of poets have written poems about the apocalypse. But it’s always figurative, never literal.

Posted in Arnold (Matthew), Pope (Alexander), Shelley (Percy), Woolf (Virginia) | Also tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Great Political Novels Not Agenda Driven

Great political novels are rich in spiritual attitude. Poor ones are agenda driven.

Posted in Conrad (Joseph), Dostoevsky (Fyodor), Ginzburg (Natalia), Gordimer (Nadine), James (Henry), Llosa (Vargas), Naipaul (V.S.), Pamuk (Orhan), Roth (Philip K.), Stendahl, Turgenev (Ivan), Yeats (William Butler) | Also tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

The Terrible Beauty of Political Fanatics

In “Easter, 1916,” Yeats gives us a framework for understanding the ambivalence of Muslim moderates towards protesters.

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Yeats and a Prayer for My Granddaughter

Yeats’s “Prayer for My Daughter” has questionable sexual politics but points to deep truths.

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A Poem for Those Feeling Dragged Down

In “The Fascination of What’s Difficult,” William Butler Yeats gives us a poem that will help get us through end-of-the-year workplace fatigue.

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Poetry to Read at a Hippy Wedding

Today is my wedding anniversary so you get to hear how I wove poetry into the ceremony. W. B. Yeats, Archibald MacLeish, D.H. Lawrence, and the Song of Solomon all made appearances. Get ready for time travel back to a very different era.

Posted in Bible, Lawrence (D. H.), MacLeish (Archibald), Yeats (William Butler) | Also tagged , , , , , , , | Comments closed

Slouching towards Bethlehem?! Get a Grip

“We are starting to wonder whether Congressional Democrats lack the courage of their convictions, or simply lack convictions,” stated a recent New York Times editorial. The editorial was displeased that the Democrats were afraid of standing up against the Bush tax cuts, due to expire by the end of this year. What with cowardly Democrats […]

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So You Want to Tell Your Story . . .

Balthus My friend Rachel Kranz, author of the novel Leaps of Faith, is visiting us at the moment, and we were talking about the number of times that people approach her about writing a book about their lives. As they envision it, they will tell her their stories and she will write them up. We […]

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