William Butler Yeats (13 June 1865 – 28 January 1939) was an Irish poet, dramatist, writer and one of the foremost figures of 20th-century literature, says Gill Ward.
‘He was a driving force behind the Irish Literary Revival and became a pillar of the Irish literary establishment who helped to found the Abbey Theatre, and in his later years served two terms as a Senator of the Irish Free State.
Irish legends and the occult
A change in style
From 1900 his poetry grew more physical, realistic and politicised. He moved away from the transcendental beliefs of his youth, though he remained preoccupied with some elements including cyclical theories of life.
This is just a short catch up as most of you will be familiar with Yeats and his poetry. His life was intense, involved and interesting combining literature, politic and women. I suggest the Poetry foundation or Wikipedia to get a great deal of background re Yeats’ life and poetry.
However the world is so changed and so distressing these days that I felt I needed a simple, gentle poem for this week so I started re reading Yeats with a new agenda. This is the beautiful poem I chose I hope it makes some of you feel like reading more Yeats.
This work of Yeats explores the idea of wanting to give gifts to someone you love, but having only the greatest gift of all, your dreams, to give. Simple, short and moving.’
He Wishes for the Cloths of Heaven” William Butler Yeats
Had I the heavens’ 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.