|Yeats was pretty cute when he was young.|
Being so gung-ho about his nationality and its rich mythological history, Yeats collected and recorded Irish fairytales and folklore (printed in the aptly-titled collection Irish Fairy and Folk Tales), and many of his poems contain mythical references and figures such as Fergus and Cuchulainn. And since a lot of Irish mythology and folklore is kind of tragic, a great deal of his poetry is angsty.
|The first time I saw this portrait of Yeats|
by John Singer Sargent, I was like WHOAH,
Yeats, I loved you before for your poetry
and now I get to love you for more
Poor Yeats had a sorry history in romance as his true love and muse, Maud Gonne, refused to marry him even though he proposed to her no less than four times over the course of ten years. And then she went and married an Irish nationalist that Yeats hated. Eventually she separated from her husband, who was later executed by the British in 1916 during the Easter Rising, and a few months later Yeats proposed again only to be shot down again. Later he married another woman and had a relatively successful marriage, but Maud was forever his inspiration, both as an angel and the curse of unrequited love. So naturally, as you might expect, a great deal of his poetry is, well, pretty damn angsty.
Anyway, I could go on about how I love his way with words, and both the depths and the shallows of his poetry--by which I mean I love how some of his poems have more layers than a prize-winning onion (my class notes on "The Second Coming" are copious) while others are simply what they are ("The Stolen Child" is about fairies stealing a child, and while you could always interpret it to have oceanic depths of meaning and insight and political commentary, it is pretty much just a wistful poem about Irish fairies and the loss of innocence). But instead of babbling on overmuch, I'll just share with you some photographic evidence of how well I paid attention during Yeats class.
|This was our main text: The Collected Poems of W.B. Yeats edited by Richard J. Finneran.|
My notes are sometimes as scarce as a single line. For instance, here is a section of the poem "The Two Trees":
Beloved, gaze in thine own heart,For which my critical note was as follows
The holy tree is growing there;
From joy the holy branches start,
And all the trembling flowers they bear.
The changing colours of its fruit
Have dowered the stars with merry light;
The surety of its hidden root
Has planted quiet in the night;
The shaking of its leafy head
Has given the waves their melody,
And made my lips and music wed,
Murmuring a wizard song for thee.
|"A holy pineapple?"|
For instance, this page of "Easter, 1916" is a mix of WTF-ery and legit analysis and discussion:
|Top half of the page. Click to enlarge.|
|Bottom half of the page. Click to enlarge.|
|A windblown Alz on a page that mentions a stormy day.|
That relates, right? RIGHT?
"II: Crazy Jane Reproved"
|A happy dolphin with the caption "SO LONG AND THANKS FOR ALL THE FISH!"|
|"ZEUS PWNS!" The ^Lightning Struck^ Tower|
|That's a leetle L from Death Note sitting in the margin of|
"Michael Robartes and the Dancer".
|The upper left note says, "As an old dude Yeats doesn't have as much|
creativity/inspiration anymore. D:"
Then below that is a penguin with the note, "Not the most kind and noble,
chivalrous penguin in the universe, but cute."
Then there's Aslan and a note saying "mythological figures".
Then there's a fox, and all the way to the right is Cheese-kun from Code Geass.
Top right: Mokona from Magic Knight Rayearth.
Top left: Kero-chan from Cardcaptor Sakura.