William Butler Yeats

1865 - 1939

A Quote by William Butler Yeats on anarchy, conviction, innocence, passion, and world

Turning and turning in the widening gyre The falcon cannot hear the falconer; Things fall apart the center 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.

William Butler Yeats (1865 - 1939)

Source: Michael Robartes and the Dancer , 1921. The Second Coming, st. I

Contributed by: Zaady

A Quote by William Butler Yeats on death, interest, seriousness, and sex

I am still of opinion that only two topics can be of the least interest to a serious and studious mood-sex and the dead.

William Butler Yeats (1865 - 1939)

Source: The Letters of W. B. Yeats

Contributed by: Zaady

A Quote by William Butler Yeats on country, fate, and love

I know that I shall meet my fate Somewhere among the clouds above; Those that I fight I do not hate, Those that I guard I do not love; My country is Kiltartan Cross, My countrymen Kiltartan's poor.

William Butler Yeats (1865 - 1939)

Source: The Wild Swans at Coole 1919. An Irish Airman Foresees His Death

Contributed by: Zaady

A Quote by William Butler Yeats on animals, death, desires, eternity, and heart

Consume my heart away, sick with desire And fastened to a dying animal It knows not what it is, and gather me Into the artifice of eternity.

William Butler Yeats (1865 - 1939)

Source: The Tower, 1928. Sailing to Byzantium

Contributed by: Zaady

A Quote by William Butler Yeats on change, gold, life, slavery, and sorrow

I see my life go drifting like a river From change to change; I have been many things -  A green drop in the surge, a gleam of light Upon a sword, a fir tree on a hill,  An old slave grinding at a heavy quern, A king sitting upon a chair of gold -  And all these things were wonderful and great; But now I have grown nothing, knowing all. Ah! Druid, Druid, how great webs of sorrow Lay hidden in that small slate-coloured thing!

William Butler Yeats (1865 - 1939)

Source: "Fergus and the Druid"

Contributed by: Zaady

A Quote by William Butler Yeats on songs and world

I made my song a coat Covered with embroideries Out of old mythologies From heel to throat But the fools caught it, Wore it in the world's eyes As though they'd wrought it. Song, let them take it, For there's more enterprise In walking naked.

William Butler Yeats (1865 - 1939)

Source: Responsibilities. A Coat

Contributed by: Zaady

A Quote by William Butler Yeats on love

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Players and painted stage took all my love, And not those things that they were emblems of.

William Butler Yeats (1865 - 1939)

Source: Last Poems,1936–1939, The Circus Animal’s Desertion, II, st. 3

Contributed by: Zaady

A Quote by William Butler Yeats on limits, poetry, and poets

If a poet interprets a poem of his own he limits its suggestibility.

William Butler Yeats (1865 - 1939)

Source: The Letters of W. B. Yeats

Contributed by: Zaady

A Quote by William Butler Yeats on flattery, guests, oppression, and world

Much did I rage when young, Being by the world oppressed, But now with flattering tongue It speeds the parting guest.

William Butler Yeats (1865 - 1939)

Source: The Tower, 1928. Youth and Age

Contributed by: Zaady

A Quote by William Butler Yeats

Red Rose, proud Rose, sad Rose of all my days! Come near me, while I sing the ancient ways.

William Butler Yeats (1865 - 1939)

Source: The Rose, 1893. To the Rose Upon the Rood of Time, st. I

Contributed by: Zaady

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