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Poems

By William Butler Yeats & Mint Editions
Poems by William Butler Yeats & Mint Editions digital book - Fable

Publisher Description

Poems (1920) is a collection of poems and plays by W.B. Yeats. Containing many of the poet’s early important works, Poems illuminates Yeats’ influence on the Celtic Twilight, a late-nineteenth century movement to revive the myths and traditions of Ancient Ireland.

The collection opens with Yeats’ verse drama The Countess Cathleen, which he dedicated to the actress and revolutionary Maud Gonne. Set during a period of famine in Ireland, The Countess Cathleen tells the story of a wealthy landowning Countess who sells her soul to the devil in order to save her starving tenants. The Land of Heart’s Desire, Yeats’ first professionally performed play, follows a young fairy child who disrupts the lives of two newlyweds and shakes a simple village to its core. The Rose contains some of the writer’s most beloved early poems, including “To the Rose Upon the Rood of Time”—a symbolist lyric alluding to the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn—and “Fergus and the Druid,” a dialogue in verse. In “Who Goes With Fergus,” a poem blending ancient legend with modern Irish nationalism, Yeats asks the youth of his country to “brood on hopes and fears no more,” to follow Fergus who “rules the shadows of the wood, / And the white breast of the dim sea / And all disheveled wandering stars.” Yeats’ writing, mysterious and rich with symbolism, demonstrates not just a mastery of the English language, but an abiding faith in the cause and principles of Irish independence.

This edition of W.B. Yeats’s Poems is a classic of Irish literature reimagined for modern readers.

Since our inception in 2020, Mint Editions has kept sustainability and innovation at the forefront of our mission. Each and every Mint Edition title gets a fresh, professionally typeset manuscript and a dazzling new cover, all while maintaining the integrity of the original book.

With thousands of titles in our collection, we aim to spotlight diverse public domain works to help them find modern audiences. Mint Editions celebrates a breadth of literary works, curated from both canonical and overlooked classics from writers around the globe.

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About William Butler Yeats

W.B. Yeats (1865-1939) was an Irish poet. Born in Sandymount, Yeats was raised between Sligo, England, and Dublin by John Butler Yeats, a prominent painter, and Susan Mary Pollexfen, the daughter of a wealthy merchant family. He began writing poetry around the age of seventeen, influenced by the Romantics and the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, but soon turned to Irish folklore and the mystical writings of William Blake for inspiration. As a young man he joined and founded several occult societies, including the Dublin Hermetic Order and the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, participating in séances and rituals as well as acting as a recruiter. While these interests continued throughout Yeats’ life, the poet dedicated much of his middle years to the struggle for Irish independence. In 1904, alongside John Millington Synge, Florence Farr, the Fay brothers, and Annie Horniman, Yeats founded the Abbey Theatre in Dublin, which opened with his play Cathleen ni Houlihan and Lady Gregory’s Spreading the News and remains Ireland’s premier venue for the dramatic arts to this day. Although he was an Irish Nationalist, and despite his work toward establishing a distinctly Irish movement in the arts, Yeats—as is evident in his poem “Easter, 1916”—struggled to identify his idealism with the sectarian violence that emerged with the Easter Rising in 1916. Following the establishment of the Irish Free State in 1922, however, Yeats was appointed to the role of Senator and served two terms in the position. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1923, and continued to write and publish poetry, philosophical and occult writings, and plays until his death in 1939.

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