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Poetry, Drama and Prose

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This brand new collection, impeccably edited by James Pethica, presents a comprehensive selection of Yeats's major contributions in poetry, drama, prose fiction, autobiography, and criticism. "Criticism" includes twenty-four interpretive essays by T. S. Eliot, Daniel Albright, Douglas Archibald, Harold Bloom, George Bornstein, Elizabeth Cullingford, Paul de Man, Richard E This brand new collection, impeccably edited by James Pethica, presents a comprehensive selection of Yeats's major contributions in poetry, drama, prose fiction, autobiography, and criticism. "Criticism" includes twenty-four interpretive essays by T. S. Eliot, Daniel Albright, Douglas Archibald, Harold Bloom, George Bornstein, Elizabeth Cullingford, Paul de Man, Richard Ellman, R. F. Foster, Stephen Gwynn, Seamus Heaney, Marjorie Howes, John Kelly, Declan Kiberd, Lucy McDiarmid, Michael North, Thomas Parkinson, Marjorie Perloff, James Pethica, Jahan Ramazani, Ronald Schuchard, Michael J. Sidnell, Anita Sokolsky, and Helen Vendler. A Chronology and Selected Bibliography are included.


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This brand new collection, impeccably edited by James Pethica, presents a comprehensive selection of Yeats's major contributions in poetry, drama, prose fiction, autobiography, and criticism. "Criticism" includes twenty-four interpretive essays by T. S. Eliot, Daniel Albright, Douglas Archibald, Harold Bloom, George Bornstein, Elizabeth Cullingford, Paul de Man, Richard E This brand new collection, impeccably edited by James Pethica, presents a comprehensive selection of Yeats's major contributions in poetry, drama, prose fiction, autobiography, and criticism. "Criticism" includes twenty-four interpretive essays by T. S. Eliot, Daniel Albright, Douglas Archibald, Harold Bloom, George Bornstein, Elizabeth Cullingford, Paul de Man, Richard Ellman, R. F. Foster, Stephen Gwynn, Seamus Heaney, Marjorie Howes, John Kelly, Declan Kiberd, Lucy McDiarmid, Michael North, Thomas Parkinson, Marjorie Perloff, James Pethica, Jahan Ramazani, Ronald Schuchard, Michael J. Sidnell, Anita Sokolsky, and Helen Vendler. A Chronology and Selected Bibliography are included.

30 review for Poetry, Drama and Prose

  1. 5 out of 5

    Phillip

    For the selections I read, I would give this collection about a 3.5, but looking at it as an entire overview of Yeat's major works along with critical background I went with 4 stars rather than 3. I am a big fan of Norton critical editions (I've been a Norton supporter since undergrad), because they tend to pull together a lot of interesting and relevant background and critical material in addition to some of the most important and influential texts in the field of English lit. As far as the Yeat For the selections I read, I would give this collection about a 3.5, but looking at it as an entire overview of Yeat's major works along with critical background I went with 4 stars rather than 3. I am a big fan of Norton critical editions (I've been a Norton supporter since undergrad), because they tend to pull together a lot of interesting and relevant background and critical material in addition to some of the most important and influential texts in the field of English lit. As far as the Yeats collection goes, I like Yeats, but I am not a huge poetry fan. I think poetry requires a way of thinking that I'm simply not that accustomed to from reading plays and novels. Some of the poems here I love--"The Second Coming," "September, 1916," for instance--but then others simply didn't do anything for me. I think a lot of the poems, especially those written to or about Maude Gonne, required a much more detailed background knowledge than I have (or the editors hinted at) in order to understand the allusions. With the plays (much more my line), I like them, but Yeats was fundamentally not a playwright. As with a number of poets who also wrote plays (see T.S. Eliot's Murder in the Cathedral), some of Yeat's plays sound more like poems with staging than actual plays. "On Baile's Strand," for instance, requires a lot of exposition, which means the entire opening section involves fairly little action. On the other hand, "Cathleen ni Houlihan" is an awesome play.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Meg

    It's Yeats. I had the help of a professor to get me through this volume, thankfully, because you need to know a lot about Irish history and Yeats' philosophy to even barely understand his poetry. I was reminded of one of my favorite Yeats poems recently when I read it in "The Lake of Dead Languages" by Goodman. Here's the last stanza: "I will arise and go now, for always night and day I hear lake water lapping with low sounds by the shore; While I stand on the roadway, or on the pavements grey, I he It's Yeats. I had the help of a professor to get me through this volume, thankfully, because you need to know a lot about Irish history and Yeats' philosophy to even barely understand his poetry. I was reminded of one of my favorite Yeats poems recently when I read it in "The Lake of Dead Languages" by Goodman. Here's the last stanza: "I will arise and go now, for always night and day I hear lake water lapping with low sounds by the shore; While I stand on the roadway, or on the pavements grey, I hear it in the deep heart's core."

  3. 4 out of 5

    Robert

    Mostly read the poetry. I prefer the early Yeats, which is more lyric and stereotypically fairies, misty lakes, and Erie.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Diane

    William Butler Yeats was one of the few influential and popular Irish poets of his time, which was the late 1800s and early 1900s. Along with Synge, and few others, he spearheaded a movement from Romantic poetry to a more political stand, helped to co-found the Abbey Theatre, and was an outspoken activist towards the preservation of Irish culture, myth, folklore, legend, and individuality. Most of his early works are centered around the Irish folklore and was heavy handed with the Romantic touch William Butler Yeats was one of the few influential and popular Irish poets of his time, which was the late 1800s and early 1900s. Along with Synge, and few others, he spearheaded a movement from Romantic poetry to a more political stand, helped to co-found the Abbey Theatre, and was an outspoken activist towards the preservation of Irish culture, myth, folklore, legend, and individuality. Most of his early works are centered around the Irish folklore and was heavy handed with the Romantic touch that he later regretted. He found it a bit too hokey in his later years, but it was nonetheless beautiful poetry and writing. Into his 20s, he met Maud Gonne, and his lifelong obsession with her began. Beautiful, a political, outspoken woman, and apparently quite tall, he was infatuated with her, but Maud only ever kept poor "Willie" at arm's length. Seeking something he could not have, he even went so far as to propose to Maud's daughter. His psychosis with her was a bit disturbing, but it fathered a great number of works centered around Maud, her representation of a dying Ireland, and his infatuation. Later on, his works more poignantly brought to bear the nation's crises situations, the political activism associated with it, and his stance on how Ireland should be represented. He completely turns his back on the Romantic heavy-handedness of his earlier works, but continually manages to remain fresh, with bold verbiage and style. Highly celebrated in his time, and after, he has become an appropriate stone to stand upon and learn from for the sake of Ireland's history and also the culture surrounding its growth. From the tales of Cuchulainn to the political atmosphere of freedom and independence, Yeats stood out amongst the crowd well into his later years, continually forcing unpopular subjects to the forefront with creativity and semantic prowess.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Glen

    It is difficult to know what to say about a writer as iconic as Yeats, and of course the poems speak for themselves (for better in most cases, for worse in some), so what I suppose this volume contributes, like most Norton Critical Editions, is a one-volume precis of sorts designed to whet the appetite of the would-be scholar or satisfy that of the less avidly interested reader of letters. This volume does an admirable job of providing substantial, but not overwhelming, examples of Yeats' poetry It is difficult to know what to say about a writer as iconic as Yeats, and of course the poems speak for themselves (for better in most cases, for worse in some), so what I suppose this volume contributes, like most Norton Critical Editions, is a one-volume precis of sorts designed to whet the appetite of the would-be scholar or satisfy that of the less avidly interested reader of letters. This volume does an admirable job of providing substantial, but not overwhelming, examples of Yeats' poetry, plays, and prose as well as a representative sample of the kind of critical reaction his work and legacy have generated. His flaws as a writer, thinker, and man are all also on fairly full display here, and if the volume has a flaw it may be that in making so much of his feet of clay one begins to wonder from time to time how he ever came to be an idol in the first place, at which point one needs to return to the poems. Just as it is hard for many not to want to forgive Beethoven everything for having bequeathed the 9th Symphony to humanity, so too for me it is hard not to respond with a shrug of the shoulders to Yeats' many critics, to point to the text of The Second Coming or some other such remarkable poem, and to say, "if you ever produce anything anywhere near that good, perhaps I will take some interest in what you have to say of the man."

  6. 4 out of 5

    Roger Burk

    This is designed as the text for a college course on Yeats, with of course some great poems, a lot of other poems that do nothing for me, snippets from some of his drama and prose, and (about a third of the book) extracts from critical work about Yeats of the sort I find incredibly dreary. God only know why I stuck it out to the end.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Christopher Moore

    This is a very good introduction to Yeats' works. Liked it so much I ended up getting a complete volume of his works.

  8. 4 out of 5

    brook

    i don't know if it was plath who brought me to yeats or vice versa; that one is a bit like the chicken and the egg. at the end of the day though i guess it doesn't really matter, because both are really tasty. so does that make plath fried chicken and yeats scrambled eggs, or vice versa? oh, right. enough of that line of thought. i think yeats would be smacking his forehead right now if he read this. to say something worthwhile, the second coming is a brutal masterpiece, but that's not all he has t i don't know if it was plath who brought me to yeats or vice versa; that one is a bit like the chicken and the egg. at the end of the day though i guess it doesn't really matter, because both are really tasty. so does that make plath fried chicken and yeats scrambled eggs, or vice versa? oh, right. enough of that line of thought. i think yeats would be smacking his forehead right now if he read this. to say something worthwhile, the second coming is a brutal masterpiece, but that's not all he has to offer. if i had the book in front of me right now i could be more specific - i'll try to remember to do that at some point. but come on, any guy that proposes to the same person 4 times only to be rejected again and again is bound to have some interesting things to say. in all seriousness, one of my life goals is to visit 23 fitzroy road in london. to think that two amazing writers lived in the same place really tickles my fancy.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Madeline

    Sometimes, I really wish Yeats had never written prose. Or plays. His poetry is quite good, obviously, although I know that I find him very difficult to read because it is nearly impossible for me to find the rhythm of his language (with very few exceptions). Still, this is a good selection of poems etc and the background information (except for one or two literary crit pieces that are a little too "this is a piece of literary criticism!") is very handy. Good footnotes, which I always appreciate Sometimes, I really wish Yeats had never written prose. Or plays. His poetry is quite good, obviously, although I know that I find him very difficult to read because it is nearly impossible for me to find the rhythm of his language (with very few exceptions). Still, this is a good selection of poems etc and the background information (except for one or two literary crit pieces that are a little too "this is a piece of literary criticism!") is very handy. Good footnotes, which I always appreciate!

  10. 5 out of 5

    Faith Bradham

    Oh Yeats, I do love you. I did get a bit tired of Maud and Ireland by the end though.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Lois

    Honk if you're Irish.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Cheryl

    Yeats is a good poet but I'm not a huge fan. His works can be a bit too modern for me.

  13. 5 out of 5

    ๖ۣۜSαᴙαh ๖ۣۜMᴄĄłłiƨʈeʀ

    Love him <3

  14. 4 out of 5

    Ellie

    Well, mostly loved the poetry!

  15. 4 out of 5

    Colleen

    Great collection, containing not only some of Yeats' best poems but also his prose and critical essays.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Marie

    This is by far one of the best collections I've run across.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Karen

    There aren't as many familiar Yeats poems as I expected, but the ones that are familiar are hauntingly so.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Maureen

    Did a previous review for Yeats...

  19. 4 out of 5

    Alyson Bowers

    Yeats isn't much of a playwright, but his poetry is amazing, and hard...hence the Nobel Prize attached to his name. His poetry is still quoted today!

  20. 5 out of 5

    Andrea

    I wish I had half the patriotism Yeats has in his works.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Tony C

  22. 5 out of 5

    Joshua

  23. 4 out of 5

    Missi

  24. 5 out of 5

    Emily Roberson

  25. 4 out of 5

    Vicki Melitas

  26. 4 out of 5

    Carly

  27. 4 out of 5

    Jacob Bender

  28. 4 out of 5

    Douglas

  29. 5 out of 5

    Silajit Das

  30. 5 out of 5

    Wayne Simon

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