Biography of William Bulter Yeats

            William Butler Yeats was born in 1865 in Dublin, Ireland.  He was the son of a well-known Irish painter, John Bulter Yeats.  He was sent to study painting at the age of 15 in Dublin, but he soon discovered that he preferred poetry to painting. 

            He was profoundly influenced by Irish mythology and folklore in his writing, especially during his early period.  As he became more deeply involved in Irish politics, his prose became more pessimistic than before.  At the same time he was also extremely influenced by the work of American poets T.S. Eliot and Ezra Pound.  Although his work became more modern in its imagery through the influence of these American writers, Yeats never strayed from his traditional form.  His love of mysticism and Irish tradition never faltered in his poetry, and his work continued to improve as he grew older.

            Aside from poetry, Yeats was elected senator to the Irish Free Republic in 1922.  He preformed many roles within Irish society, making him a crucial cultural leader.  He was a poet, a politician, and also a playwright.  He was one of the founders of the famous Abbey Theatre in Dublin.  He was awarded the Nobel Prize for literature in 1923, and he died in 1939 at the age of 73. 

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Title Page  The Poem  Analysis Part I   Analysis Part II   Analysis Part III   Analysis IV   Analysis Part V   Analysis VI   Scansion   Biography