William Butler Yeats

W. B. Yeats

1865 (Sandymount, Ireland) – 1939 (Menton, France)

Yeats was hugely influential on the Irish literary revival (along with O’Casey and Synge) and on a number of 20th-century poets, including Pound, who acted as his secretary and taught him fencing. He helped found and run the Abbey Theatre, his close friend Synge also involved. He had known Morris, was astonished at Wilde’s perfectly-formed spoken sentences, was a friend to Masefield and Chesterton, and corresponded with notables from Shaw to Betjeman and Eliot to Lutyens. He told Woolf that he and de la Mare composed thumbnail poems; and successfully kicked the marauding Crowley out of the Isis Urania temple.

William Butler Yeats knew…