The present selection traces the development of Yeats' fully antated verse, encompassing the poet's interest in Irish folklore and national identity, his engagement with the political situation of his day and the rich symbolism that is the hallmark of his work and a reflection of his lifelong fascination with the occult. It contains some of his best-kwn pieces, including the elegiac 'Easter 1916', the apocalyptic The Second Coming and the reflective and spiritual Sailing to Byzantium . Often radical in content but always traditional in form, these poems are by turns startling and affecting, and never less than inspired. Taken together, they form an ideal introduction to the poetic career of one of Ireland's greatest literary figures.
Born in Dublin, W. B. Yeats (1865-1939) is one of the greatest English-language poets of the twentieth century, as well as a dramatist, critic and essayist. A visionary in the mould of Blake, Yeats is closely associated with the Irish Literary Revival, and was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1923.