W.B. Yeats and the Muses by Joseph M. Hassett

W.B. Yeats and the Muses

byJoseph M. Hassett

Paperback | July 11, 2015

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W.B. Yeats and the Muses explores how nine fascinating women inspired much of W.B. Yeats's poetry. These women are particularly important because Yeats perceived them in terms of beliefs about poetic inspiration akin to the Greek notion that a great poet is inspired and possessed by thefeminine voices of the Muses. Influenced by the Pre-Raphaelite idea of woman as "romantic and mysterious, still the priestess of her shrine", Yeats found his Muses in living women. His extraordinarily long and fruitful poetic career was fuelled by passionate relationships with women to and aboutwhom he wrote some of his most compelling poetry. The book summarizes the different Muse traditions that were congenial to Yeats and shows how his perception of these women as Muses underlies his poetry. Newly available letters and manuscripts are used to explore the creative process and interpretthe poems.Because Yeats believed that lyric poetry "is no rootless flower, but the speech of a man," exploring the relationship between poem and Muse brings new coherence to the poetry, illuminates the process of its creation, and unlocks the "second beauty" to which Yeats referred when he claimed that "worksof lyric genius, when the circumstances of their origin is known, gain a second a beauty, passing as it were out of literature and becoming life." As life emerges from the literature, the Muses are shown to be vibrant, multi-faceted personalities who shatter the idea of the Muse as a passive stereotype and take their proper place as begetters of timeless poetry.

Details & Specs

Title:W.B. Yeats and the MusesFormat:PaperbackDimensions:279 pages, 8.5 × 5.43 × 0.61 inPublished:July 11, 2015Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0198746024

ISBN - 13:9780198746027

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Table of Contents

Introduction1. White Woman That Passion Has Worn: Olivia Shakespear2. Where the Blessed Dance: Florence Farr3. The Apple on the Bough Most Out of Reach: Maud Gonne4. The Living Beauty: Iseult Gonne5. Out of a Medium's Mouth: George Hyde-Lees6. In Search of the Muse: Memories of Love and Lyrics for Imaginary People7. A Foolish, Passionate Man: Margot Ruddock and Ethel Mannin8. Fury: Dorothy Wellesle9. Golden Codger and Siren: Yeats and Edith Shackleton HealdFinaleEndnotesBibliography

Editorial Reviews

"It's hard to imagine the poems being read in the future without reference to Hassett's extended insights into one of the most fruitful and provoking zones in all of Yeats's work." --Eamon Grennan (Emeritus Professor of English, Vassar College)