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The Collected Poems of W.B. Yeats (Wordsworth Poetry Library) Paperback – 5 Sep 2000

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Product details

  • Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Wordsworth Editions; New edition edition (5 Sept. 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1853264547
  • ISBN-13: 978-1853264542
  • Product Dimensions: 19.7 x 12.6 x 2.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (48 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 3,154 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

"My favourite poet is Yeats, who in my book is the greatest since Shakespeare" (Michael Longley)

"His verse is inspired;his poetic persona is magnificent... He created a poetry both lyrical and demotic, melodic and rhetorical" (Peter Ackroyd The Times) --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

Book Description

The collected works of one of the last century's greatest poets, which will appeal to the general and scholarly reader alike --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

20 of 20 people found the following review helpful By auryx on 26 April 2011
Format: Kindle Edition
Contrary to the title, this in fact contains no table of contents at all, nor title page or introduction, but launches straight into the poems. There seems to be a good selection arranged by date and publication, but no verse structure has been maintained, each poem is just one big block of text. This, along with some typos and the fact that a few of my favourites are missing, means I wouldn't recommend this version.
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35 of 37 people found the following review helpful By John Ferngrove TOP 500 REVIEWER on 11 May 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Over the last few months I have found myself writing a lot of poetry. This is something I've always dabbled in, but that seems lately to have acquired a new urgency and facility. As a result I have found myself reading a lot more poetry than I have at any point since my twenties when my early favourites were established (I've just turned fifty one). My recent reading has included the discovery of the excellent Tony Harrison, and a re-acquaintance with two early loves, Baudelaire and Rilke. I then found myself looking around for a new unfamiliar voice with which to engage. I had been introduced to several of Yeats' major poems at school, where they had made enough of an impression on me to still be able to recall sizeable chunks. Thus, I decided to give his Collected Poems a go.

I've been reading my poets cover to cover, and so I undertook to do the same with these. This took perhaps a week or so, and at the end I found myself rather under-whelmed, and rather glad to be finished. I couldn't understand the fuss. A Nobel laureate? The language seemed so quaint and un-spectacular, and yet he was considered modern? The references to Celtic myth were somewhat irritating, as what knowledge I had enjoyed in this area had grown stale with disuse. But most of all I found the meanings of the poems extremely obscure. Despite frequent re-readings I found I could make very little sense of by far the most of them. When I got to the end I had come to the conclusion that whatever reputation he enjoyed must have arisen from academic delight at obscurantism.

But just as I was about to put the book away, on a high shelf, I found myself with the feeling that I must have missed something.
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39 of 42 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 4 Sept. 1999
Format: Paperback
Yeats is without a doubt one of the most significant and influential poets of recent times, and probably the most important Anglo-Irish poet ever. His poems are deeply affecting, especially those concerning his unrequited love for Maud Gonne. They deal with diverse subjects like Irish politics of the time, the Republican movement, and more personal themes like love, growing old, death and the problems he saw facing an artist. My favourite poem is probably "Sailing To Byzantium;" "He Wishes For The Cloths Of Heaven" is beautiful too. I highly recommend this to anyone with even a passing interest in poetry.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By J A R P on 30 Jan. 2011
Format: Paperback
I don't write this review for somebody to mark it and ask for references - we are not doing A Levels here!
So I just tell you why I like this poetry.

First, the canon of poetry is a strange thing. He is approved of by some process of sifting out the good from the bad of the past. But he is approved in part because of his Irish origins and his involvement in the birth of modern Ireland. Politics is at work. Nobody is innocent in these matters, and in some respects, there is a bad man lurking behind his poetic expressions. But no on is totally pure.

From the first, Yeats dwelt in the world beyond the senses. He wrote a book called A Vision in which he and his mystic wife communicated with a spirit guide. Ask yourself while reading: do you just like his phrases, or do you too want to go to this other world while you are still here below? Me, I want to follow Yeats there.

He was a founder of the Order of the Golden Dawn, and was an acquaintance of mad magicians like Alisdair Crowley. Yeats, in common terms, was very far out.

Yeats, by many accounts, took the other world of faeries and God very seriously. In his poems of middle age he proposes that the terrestrial life of human beings is ordered by the phases of the moon, or, in some way, by the effects of the moon. The true life is beyond the effects of this moon.

The wisest men are accounted fools in our earthly lifetime. He knew that he was a fool in other people's eyes. So he says that fools are the wise. He detested the ways of the world, the ways of industry, media, politics.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Mr. B. P. Van-asten on 27 April 2012
Format: Paperback
This classic introduction to W B Yeats (1865-1939) and his collected poems is a real work of art, and as can be seen the poetic strength of the great Irish nationalist, who was well versed in his native Irish mythology, does not diminish through his progression into old age. Here you will find the romantic lyricism of his early poems with their Celtic twilight, magical woods and fairies in such collections as his `Crossways' (1889) with its `Down by the Sally Gardens' and `The Rose' (1893) with the wonderful `Lake Isle of Innisfree'. Yeats found inspiration from his unrequited love for Maude Gonne, an ardent revolutionary, in collections such as `The Wind among the Reeds' (1899); `In the Seven Woods' (1904) to his infinitely beautiful `The Wild Swans at Coole' (1919). Then there are his more mature and political poems [he served as a senator of the Irish Free State from 1922-1928]: `Michael Robartes and the Dancer' (1921) with the astonishing `Easter 1916' and the great prophetic poem `The Second Coming'. `The Tower' (1928) contains his `Sailing to Byzantium'... Then there is `The Winding Stair and Other Poems' (1933) to `New Poems' (1938) with `The Gyres' and his `Final Poems' (1938-39) and `Under Ben Bulben'.
Yeats became interested in the Theatre and he created an Irish National Theatre; his narrative and dramatic works are also included, from his `The Wanderings of Oisin' (1889) and `The Shadowy Waters' (1906) to his `The Two Kings' (1914).
For me, Yeats is a giant among modern poetry and there are elements of Wordsworth's nature poems, Spencer's fairy kingdoms and Blake's `occult and mystical' realms in the collected poems.
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