W. B. Yeats, poetry, w.b yeats
[Yeats, quotations]
William Butler Yeats, familiar quotations, famous quotations

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William Butler Yeats
a.k.a. W. B. Yeats
famous and familiar quotations

  William Butler Yeats was born near Dublin in 1865. He trained as an artist but later turned to literature. Much of his early work is associable with the Romantic nationalist "Gaelic Revival" movement in Ireland in the later nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Yeats was a co-founder of Dublin's Abbey Theatre which contributed to this Gaelic Revival movement.

  As well as being involved in the writing of plays and poetry he was also interested in Mysticism and the Occult being involved in the Theosophical Society and the Rosicrucian Order. He was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1923.

  Yeats died in France in 1939 and his remains were interred there but the ending of the European hostilities associated with the Second World War eventually allowed Yeats to be re-interred, in accordance with his own wishes, in Drumcliffe chuchyard on the western coasts of Ireland.


  Here are some famous and familiar quotations from William Butler Yeats poetry:-

  I will arise and go now, and go to Inishfree.
And a small cabin build there, of clay and wattles made;
Nine bean-rows will I have there, a hive for the honey-bee,
And live alone in the bee loud glade.

[Yeats, quotations]


  But I, being poor, have only my dreams.
I have spread my dreams under your feet;
Tread softly, because you tread on my dreams.




    Civilisation is hooped together, brought
Under a rule, under the semblance of peace
By manifold illusion, but Man's life is thought,
And he, despite his terror, cannot cease,
Ravening through century after century
Ravening, raging and uprooting, that he may come
Into the desolation of reality.




    Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction; while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.




W. B. Yeats' Epitaph - as penned by himself

   Cast a cold eye
On life, on death,
Horseman, pass by!




Another William Butler Yeats famous and familiar quotation is to be found on our "Central" poetry insights page.


Introductory quotations
Mark Twain
Oscar Wilde


Start of William Butler Yeats poetry
famous and familiar quotations page