Excerpt from W. B. Yeats: Man and Poet
This book was written at a time when Yeats's writings were out of print. It therefore seemed useful to quote very freely from both his published and unpublished work. But the book was also written in order to present a view of the relationship between Yeats's life and his work which might help the reader to understand some poems better, to see the interrelationships between work written at different periods of Yeats's life, and to see something of how Yeats himself thought about his life and his poetry.
Preparing this edition has made me realise how much con siderations of space had forced me to omit from my original work: but, since 1949, there have been several specialised studies which deal with many of the topics which had to be handled brieﬂy here: Yeats's symbolism, his interest in the occult, the sources of his visual imagery, his role in public life, his thought and detailed criticism of his poetry. Despite the publication of these other studies of Yeats (to which I have added myself) some of the contents of this book are still un obtainable elsewhere and I believe that its attempt to keep the reader's attention on the poet's writings rather than the critic's has some value - for Yeats's own comments are illuminating, and the conjunction between his prose and verse is rewarding in the extreme as revealing some of the individualism of a great poet.
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