In Dublin, I happened upon one of the many public institutions, free of charge to enter. In this case, the National Library of Ireland. What a treasure! It was serious inside. Quiet, like a library, ought to be. I didn’t go far, when I noticed a special exhibition for the poetry of William Butler Yeats. I followed the arrow, and descended a couple short flights of stairs, to enter the display. It was very dark down there. The exhibits lit up inside display cases in a large spacious area, to view the works and life of Yeats. The collection of Yeats was donated to Ireland by his former wife, and his two children. Yeats married when he was 52, and to a young woman who was 25. Apparently it was not the most normal marriage in the world, but his wife respected him enough to preserve his work for future generations to come. I don’t claim to know much about his poetry, nor much about him, but was quite amazed by the eccentric life he lived. I was also amazed by the exhibit, which I tripped inside of by accident, and had to run through quickly, because my traveling companions decided a coffee at a nearby coffee shop was more important than WBY. Here is the website of the exhibition, and a couple of his quotes I transcribed from a brochure I picked up on the way out. If you have flash drive and can enter the site, it’s the closest you can come to being there. The tags below this article give an idea of the range of esoteric topics Yeats entertained in his life as an artist. It’s worth a visit.
I have spent all my life in
clearing out of poetry every
phrase written for the eye, and
bringing all back to syntax that
is for the ear alone…”Write for
the ear”, I thought, so that you
may be instantly understood as
when an actor or folk singer
stands before an audience.
I am persuaded that our intellects at twenty contain all the truths we shall ever find.