William Butler Yeats: Index of Quotations


File 9

[ The contents of each of the above files are listed in the Index - as below ]

Arise and bid me strike a match
And strike another till time catch;
Should the conflagration climb,
Run till all the sages know.
We the great gazebo built,
They convicted us of guilt;
Bid me strike a match and blow.
—“In Memory of Eva Gore-Booth and Con Markiewicz”
Sligo days: ‘I have walked on Sinbad’s yellow shore and never shall an-other’s hit my fancy.’ (Reveries over Childhood and Youth [1914], in Autobiographies, 1955, [q.p.]; see longer extract - infra.)

See longer extracts and full-text versions in RICORSO Library - via Yeats index.

No extracts from the poetry of W. B. Yeats are given here - under Yeats in the “Authors” section of RICORSO - but the Collected Poems can be reached in RICORSO > “Library > Irish Classics” > W. B. Yeats - via index or in a separate window.

The Collected Poems of W. B. Yeats (1955)

See also ...
Notes on the Collected Poems (1950)
& General
Plays & Prose

[ See some shorter quotations, infra ... ]

General Index of Yeats Quotations
File 1
The Poetry of Samuel Ferguson (1886)
Fairy and Folk Tales (1888)
Representative Irish Tales (1891)
Tales from Carleton (1891)
Young Ireland League (1892)
Hopes & Fears for Irish Literature (1892)
Irish Language & Literature (1892)
Nationality and Literature (1893)
List of Best Irish Books (1895)
A Book of Irish Verse (1895)
Popular Ballad Poetry (1897)
“What is ‘Popular Poetry’?” (1901)
Short Fiction
The Celtic Twilight (1893; 1902)
Preface (1893)
“Nearness of Earth, Heaven &
“Dust Hath Closed Helen’s Eye”
“Enchanted Woods”
The Secret Rose (1897)
“Rosa Alchemica” (1897)
“The Tables of the Law” (1897)
“Adoration of the Magi” (1897)
Stories of Red Hanrahan (1905)
See also attached ...

See also full-text versions in RICORSO Library "Irish Classics > W. B. Yeats" ...
Fairy and Folk Tales of the Irish Peasantry (1888)
The Celtic Twilight (1893; 1902)
The Secret Rose (1897 & 1925 edns.)

and ...

Some notes on “Fairy Lore” from Wind Among the Reeds (1899)

Writings on William Blake

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File 2
The Works of William Blake (1893)
The Poetry of William Blake (1910)
“Old Gaelic Love Songs” (1893)
“Irish Nation Literature” (1895)
“Celtic Element in Literature” (1898)
“The Lit. Movement in Ireland” (1901)
“Modern Irish Poetry” (1904)
“Poetry and Tradition” (1907)
“Poetry in Ireland” (1908)
“The Tragic Theatre” (1910)
“Letter to The Irish Worker” (1913)
"If I Were Four and Twenty" (1919)
Early Poems & Stories (1925) - Dedication
Early Poems & Stories (1925) - Notes
King of the Great Clock Tower (1935)
Oxford Book of Modern Verse (1936)
“General Intro. for My Work” (1935)
“A Discussion of Style” (1936)
“General Intro. to My Plays” (1937)

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File 3
His childhood
The People
The Peasant
Irish Folklore
Old wives’ tales
Class & Caste
Oral tradition
Irish oratory
The Celts
Imagination & Literature
Reason & Impulse
Religion & Mythology
Anglo-Irish Literature?
Irish Movements
The Abbey Theatre

Letter to Fr. Matthew Russell in 1889 on planning an Irish fiction anthology - infra.

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File 4
Artist as Priest
Mysticism & Magic
Unity of Being
Moods & Emotions
Masks & Identity
Irish Criticism
Oedipus at the Abbey

File 5
Dramatic Art
Tragic or Creative Joy
Literature & Sexuality
Women & Dolls
Idealism v. Realism
Yeats’s Creed

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File 6
Ireland in general
Ireland, UK & US
Irish nationality
National feeling
Irish bitterness
Irish national faults
English nationality
Nobel winner(s)
Irish places & legends
Irish tradition
The Irish language
[Irish] Catholicism
Religion & Education
The Penal Laws
Psychic Research
Divorce Bill (1929)
Irish Censorship

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File 7
Irish history
Irish politics
Irish names
Irish writers
Irish Nationalism
Irish Nationalists
Irish Republicans
1916 Rising
The Great War
Irish Loyalty
Class in Ireland
Modern Ireland
War in Ireland
Fascism in Europe
Fascism in Ireland
The Irish Future
Northern Ireland
National cultures
National histories
English Royals
Civil Pension
Literary Gunmen
The Irish Coinage
Letter of condolence

For letter of April 1928 to Sean O’Casey rejecting The Silver Tassie, see under O’Casey - supra.

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File 8
Wm. Shakespeare
Jonathan Swift
George Berkeley
Edmund Burke
William Blake

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File 9
John Sherman (1891)
The Countess Cathleen
Land of Heart’s Desire
Kathleen Ni Houlihan The King’s Threshold Resurrection (1934)

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Some shorter quotations
‘[I am] A man of my time, through my poetical faculty living its history.’ (Later Essays, ed. William O’Donnell, p.198; quoted in Elizabeth Butler Cullingford, ‘Yeats and Gender’, in The Oxford Companion to W. B. Yeats, ed. Marjorie Howes & John Kelly, OUP 2006, p.169.

‘My first principle in my work is that poetry must make the land in which we live a holy land as Homer made Greece.’ (1897; quoted in Edna Longley, ‘Letter from Belfast’, Times Literary Supplement, 12 Dec. 2002, p.15.)

‘I feel more and more that we shall have a school of Irish poetry – founded on Irish myth and history – a neo-romantic movement.’ - ‘Any breath from Ireland blows pleasurably in this hateful London where you cannot go five paces without seeing some wretched object broken either by wealth or poverty.’ Letters to Katherine Tynan, 1887, in Allan Wade, ed., Letters, 1954, pp. 33 & 35.)

‘I must leave my sights and images to explain themselves as the years go by, and one poem lights up another.’ (Preface to Poems, 1899; quoted in T. R. Henn, The Lonely Tower: Studies in the Poetry of W. B. Yeats, London: Methuen 1965 [rev. edn.], p.126.)

‘Politics growing heroic [...] A Fascist opposition is forming behind the scenes to be ready should some tragic situation develop. I find myself constantly urging the despotic rule of the educated classes as the only end to our troubles. (Let this sleep in your ear.)’ (WBY to Olivia Shakespeare, 13 July 1933; Wade, pp.811-12; quoted in Brenda Maddox, Yeats’s Ghosts [..&c], NY: HarperCollins 1999, p.271.)

‘I know for certain that my time will not be long [...] I am happy, and I think full of an energy, of an energy I had despaired of. It seems to me that I have found what I wanted. When I try to put all into a phrase I say, “Man can embody truth but he cannot know it.” I must embody it in the completion of my life. The abstract is not life and everywhere draws out its contradictions. You can refute Hegel but not the Saint or the Song of Sixpence.’ (Letter to Lady Elizabeth Pelham, 4 January 1939; in Letters, ed. Allan Wade, London Rupert-Hart Davis 1954, p.922; InteLex 7632.)

For Yeats, the playwrights of Catholic Ireland were ‘dominated by their subject’ while those of Anglo-Irish background ‘stand above their subject and play with it.’ (The Letters of W. B. Yeats, ed. Wade, London: Hart-Davis 1954, p.464; cited in Thomas Kilroy, ‘A Generation of Playwrights’, in Irish University Review, Spring 1992, p.135.)

Superman: ‘I don’t know how to thank you too much for the three volumes of Nietzsche. I had never read him before, but find that I had come to the same conclusions on several cardinal matters. He is exaggerated and violent but has helped me very greatly to build up in my mind an imagination of the heroic life.’ (Letter to John Quinn, 6 Feb. [1903], Coll: Foster-Murphy. Quoted in William Michael Murphy, Prodigal Father: The Life of John Butler Yeats (1839-1922) (Cornell UP 1978), Notes to pp.264-266; p.596.

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The Celtic Twilight (1893; 2nd edn., revised & enl. 1902; reiss. 1924, with notes).

Contents [pp.ix-x]
Introductory poems [‘Time drops in decay ...” [vi]; ‘The host is riding from Knocknarea ...’ (“The Hosting of the Sidhe”) [vii]; This Book [1]; A Teller of Tales [4]; Belief and Unbelief [8]; Mortal Help [12]; A Visionary [15]; Village Ghosts [23]; “Dust Hath Closed Helen’s Eye” [35]; A Knight of the Sheep [50]; An Enduring Heart [56]; The Sorcerers [61]; The Devil [69]; Happy and Unhappy Theologians [71]; The Last Gleeman [79]; Regina, Regina Pigmeorum, Veni [79]; “And Fair, Fierce Women” [97]; Enchanted Woods [101]; Miraculous Creatures [109]; Aristotle of the Books [112]; The Swine of the Gods [113]; A Voice [115]; Kidnappers [117]; The Untiring Ones [130]; Earth, Fire and Water [135]; The Old Town [137]; The Man and His Boots [141]; A Coward [143]; The Three O’Byrnes and the Evil Faeries [145]; Drumcliff and Rosses [148]; The Thick Skull of the Fortunate [160]; The Religion of the Sailor [163]; Concerning the Nearness Together of Heaven, Earth, and Purgatory [165]; The Eaters of Precious Stones [167]; Our Lady of the Hills [169]; The Golden Age [173]; A Remonstrance with Scotsmen for Having Soured the Disposition of Their Ghosts and Faeries [176]; War [183]; The Queen and The Fool [186]; The Friends of the People of Faery [195]; Dreams That Have No Moral [208]; By The Roadside [231]; “Into the Twilight” [poem, 235].
Note: above links to full-text version in RICORSO Library > “Irish Classics” > Yeats - index; see also shorter quotations - infra.

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