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William Butler Yeats: Western Ireland’s Poet Extraordinaire

Evening Seminar with Light Reception

Evening Lecture/Seminar

Tuesday, April 21, 2015 - 6:45 p.m. to 8:45 p.m. ET
Code: 1H0042
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The trees are in their autumn beauty,
The woodland paths are dry,
Under the October twilight the water
mirrors a still sky. . . .

--from “The Wild Swans at Coole”

William Butler Yeats (1865–1939), whose hauntingly beautiful poetry is imbued with imagery derived from his western Ireland heritage, was inspired by County Sligo and lies buried there under the shadow of mystical Ben Bulben mountain. His poems are among the most memorable in the English language and he is often considered the greatest poet of the 20th century.

From the early Celtic dreamlike imagery to his symbolic use of Anglo-Ireland’s retreat from the power, culture, and authority of the landed classes, Yeats frequently returned to his homeland for symbols and settings—such as Coole Park—to address a troubled modern world through his art.

Through lecture and readings, Christopher Griffin considers the meaning of Yeats’s poetry and his abiding love of his native land.

Griffin taught Irish literature at George Washington University and is a Smithsonian Journeys tour leader.

 

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