Yeats's Poetic Development Essay

1772 words - 7 pages

Between the Celtic visions of THE WANDERINGS OF OISIN (1889) and the intellectual, often obscure poetry of the 1930s, Yeats produced a tremendous amount of works. In his early career Yeats studied William Blake's poems, Emanuel Swedenborg's writings and other visionaries. Later he expressed his disillusionment with the reality of his native country. Irish poet, dramatist and prose writer William Butler Yeats was born in Dublin on 13th June 1865 into an Irish Protestant family. His early years Yeats spent in London and Slingo, a beautiful county on the west coast of Ireland. the area was rich in both mythological and aristocratic traditions and, for both these reasons , is very frequently mentioned in Yeast's poems.His father, John Butler Yeats, a clergyman's son, was a lawyer turned to an Irish Pre-Raphaelite painter. He was passionately involved in London's artistic life in the 1870s as a supporter of the primary importance of pure emotion in art and an opponent of intellectual abstraction. Yeats's views on poetry and art were by no means unique, of course, deriving a great deal in particular from the "Pre-Raphaelite" group. He was already being encouraged to think of himself as a writer by his father, and the next nine years gave him a fine opportunity to soak his imagination in the Irish folk-lore which was to provide the impetus for much of his early poetry.In 1885 Yeats moved from Dublin High school to the Dublin School of Arts. In "Autobiographies" Yeats speaks of his youthful conviction:"only beautiful things should be painted , andthat only ancient things and the stuff of dreamswere beautiful"Shortly after joining the School of Art yeats also began to explore mysticism and the occult , encouraged by the famous , Madame Blavatsky , an interest which he maintained throughout his life. Interest in Indian mysticism and theosophy sought him to meet the most extreme contempt for empirical and scientific knowledge, and this interest is reflected in several of his poems of his first collection.As a writer Yeats made his debut in 1885, when he published his first poems in The Dublin University Review. Clearly Yeats's was making name for himself in these years, and his friendship with the almost legendry Nationalist figure John O'Leary shows how highly he thought of he was. Yeays's poetry begun by echoing shelly and Spenser and Blake remained a dominant influence throughout his poetic career. All the characteristics features and flavors of romantic poetry are present in most of Yeats's early poetry. The tendency to escape to far off lands of romance or to nature is present in Yeats's poetry . Characters from folk-lore , imagined wanderings with lovely phantoms, and occasionally a Keatsian richness of the sensuous are all there in his early poems. "The wandering of Oision and other poems" was quite favorably received in 1889 ,Oscar Wild being on of the influential figures who praised it. " The wandering of Oision" owes a great deal in the way of...

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