William Butler Yeats

On this day January 28th on of Ireland’s greatest literary artist  of the 20th century William Butler Yeats died (1865-1939). Yeats was the first Irishman to receive the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1923. Along with Lady Gregory, and others, he founded the Abbey Theatre, and served as its chief playwright until the movement was joined by John Synge. He was appointed to the Irish Senate in 1922. Born in Dublin Yeats spent his childhood in County Sligo He died in France in 1939  where he was buried, in September 1948, Yeats’ body was moved to Drumcliffe, County Sligo beneath Ben Bulbin. If in Sligo there is the Yeats exhibition at Lissadell House which is one of the finest country homes in the country.

What Then?

His chosen comrades thought at school

He must grow a famous man;

He thought the same and lived by rule,

All his twenties crammed with toil;

`What then?’ sang Plato’s ghost. `What then?’

Everything he wrote was read,

After certain years he won

Sufficient money for his need,

Friends that have been friends indeed;

`What then?’ sang Plato’s ghost. `What then?’

All his happier dreams came true –

A small old house, wife, daughter, son,

Grounds where plum and cabbage grew,

Poets and Wits about him drew;

`What then?’ sang Plato’s ghost. `What then?’

`The work is done,’ grown old he thought,

`According to my boyish plan;

Let the fools rage, I swerved in naught,

Something to perfection brought’;

But louder sang that ghost, `What then?’

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Categories: Theatre

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