The Poems of W.B. Yeats : Volume One: 1882-1889 book cover
1st Edition

The Poems of W.B. Yeats
Volume One: 1882-1889

Edited By

Peter McDonald

ISBN 9780367495602
Published August 19, 2020 by Routledge
752 Pages

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Book Description

In this multi-volume edition, the poetry of W.B. Yeats (1865–1939) is presented in full, with newly-established texts and detailed, wide-ranging commentary. Yeats began to write verse in the nineteenth century, and over time his own arrangements of poems repeatedly revised and rearranged both texts and canon. This edition of Yeats’s poetry presents all his verse, both published and unpublished, including a generous selection of textual variants from the many manuscript and printed sources. The edition also supplies the most extensive commentary on Yeats’s poetry to date, explaining specific references, and setting poems in their contexts; it also gives an account of the vast range of both literary and historical influences at work on the verse. The poems are presented in order of composition, and major revisions or rewritings of poems result in separate inclusions (in chronological sequence) for these writings as they were subsequently reconceived by the poet.

This first volume collects Yeats’s poetry of the 1880s, from his ambitious and extensive juvenilia (including hitherto little-noticed dramatic poems) to his earliest published pieces, leading to his first substantial book of verse. The pastoral romance of classically-inflected early work like ‘The Island of Statues’ is succeeded in these years by the Irish mythic material that finds its largest canvas in the mini-epic ‘The Wanderings of Oisin’. In Yeats’s work through the 1880s, an adolescent poet’s youthful absorption in Romantic poetry is replaced by a commitment to esoteric religious speculation and Irish political nationalism. This edition allows readers to see Yeats’s emergence as a poet step by step in compelling detail in relation to his literary influences – including, significantly, the Anglo-Irish poetry of the nineteenth century. The commentary provides an extensive view of Yeats’s developing personal, cultural, and historical worlds as the poems gain in maturity and depth. From the first attempts at verse of a teenage boy to the fully accomplished writings of an original poet standing on the verge of popular success with poems such as ‘The Lake Isle of Innisfree’, Yeats’s poetry is displayed here in unprecedented fullness and detail.

Table of Contents

1. [‘A Flower Has Blossomed…’]  2. The Old Grey Man  3. Child’s Play  4. [‘I Sat Upon a High Gnarled Root’]  5. [‘A Double Moon or More Ago’]  6. [Fragment of Opening Scene of an Abandoned Verse-Play]  7. The Priest of Pan  8. Inscription for a Christmas Card  9. Pan  10. [‘The World is but a Strange Romance’]  11. Sunrise  12. The Dell  13. [‘Tower Wind-Beaten, Grim’]  14. [Dramatic Fragment]  15. Vivien and Time  16. [As Me Upon My Way the Tram-Car Whirled’]  17. [‘Death Hath Ta’en My Child to Nurse’]  18. [‘My Song Thou Knowest of a Dreaming Castle’]  19. [Speech From the Opening of an Abandoned Dramatic Poem]  20. [‘When to Its End O’er-Ripened July Nears’’]  21. Fragment (‘I Raise to Thee No Praying Voice...’)  22. [‘The Children Play in White and Red’]  23. [‘Behold the Man’]  24. [‘A Soul of the Fountain Spake Me a Word’]  25. [‘A Sound Came Floating, an Unearthly Sound’]  26. Love and Death  27. Unused scene from Love and Death  28. Song of the Faeries  29. [‘Mong Meadows of Sweet Grain’]  30. Sansloy – Sansfoy – Sansjoy  31. [Love and Sorrow]  32. Mosada  33. [‘For Clapping Hands of All Men’s Love’]  34. The Magpie  35. The Island of Statues: An Arcadian Faery Tale – in Two Acts  36. ‘The Cloak, the Boat, and the Shoes’  37. [‘Truth Is Bold, But Falsehood Fears’ ]  38. Fragment (‘And Helen’s Eyes’)  39. Love’s Decay  40. The Field Mouse  41. Time and the Witch Vivien  42. [Hushed in the Vale of Dajestan’]  43. An Old and Solitary One  44. A Song of Sunset  45. Love and Death  46. [‘The Dew Comes Dropping’]  47. From The Village of the Elms  48. The Seeker: A Dramatic Poem – In Two Scenes  49. The Song of the Happy Shepherd  50. In a Drawing-Room  51. Life  52. The Sad Shepherd  53. The Two Titans: A Political Poem  54. [‘There Sings a Rose by the Rim’]  55. The Priest and the Fairy  56. Kanva on Himself  57. On Mr. Nettleship’s Picture at the Royal Hibernian Academy  58. The Meditation of the Old Fisherman  59. The Falling of the Leaves  60. The Stolen Child  61. To – (Remembrance)  62. The Indian Upon God  63. An Indian Song  64. Song of Spanish Insurgents  65. Quatrains and Aphorisms  66. The Fairy Pedant  67. A Dawn-Song  68. Anashuya and Vijaya  69. King Goll: An Irish Legend  70. [‘How Beautiful Thy Colours Are…’]  71. The Ballad of Moll Magee  72. How Ferencz Renya Kept Silent: Hungary, 1848  73. Love Song: From the Gaelic  74. She Who Dwelt Among the Sycamores: A Fancy  75. The Protestants’ Leap  76. Ephemera  77. The Fairy Doctor  78. Girl’s Song  79. [‘Wherever in the Wastes of Wrinkling Sand’]  80. A Lover’s Quarrel Among the Fairies  81. The Wanderings of Oisin and How a Demon Trapped Him  82. King Goll (Third Century)  83. A Legend  84. Down by the Salley Gardens  85. The Ballad of Father O’ Hart  86. The Phantom Ship  87. Street Dancers  88. To an Isle in the Water  89. The Lake Isle of Innisfree  90. In the Firelight  91. The Outlaw’s Bridal: Ireland, 16**  92. In Church  93. A Summer Evening  94. The Ballad of the Foxhunter  95. Who Goes with Fergus?  Appendix 1: Contents of The Wanderings of Oisin and Other Poems (1889)  Appendix 2: Initial prose draft of The Island of Statues

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Peter McDonald is an Irish poet and critic, whose literary criticism includes Serious Poetry: Form and Authority from Yeats to Hill (2002) and Sound Intentions: The Workings of Rhyme in Nineteenth-Century Poetry (2012). He has edited the Collected Poems of Louis MacNeice, and is the author of numerous articles on nineteenth- and twentieth-century poetry. His own Collected Poems appeared in 2012. He is Professor of British and Irish Poetry at the University of Oxford, and Christopher Tower Student and Tutor in Poetry at Christ Church, Oxford.