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Course Description

William Butler Yeats is one of the great poets of the English language. He published his first work in 1886, when he was twenty-one; his last volumes appeared in 1939, the year of his death. He celebrated Irish heroes, brought classical figures to life, sang of love and politics and nobility and grief. In his last years he invented Crazy Jane, a rough country woman who detested politicians and priests, loved Ireland and her own past lovers, and spoke straight from her heart. Yeats received the Nobel prize in literature in 1923. We will discuss some of his many poems, choosing from different periods of his life and styles of his poetry. The course will reward close reading and listening, an interest in lively conversation, and the ability to change one’s mind. This instructor has given an earlier course on Yeats’s poems. This one will overlap with the first when the poems are so good that they can’t be ignored, but there will be a lot of new material as well. | Facilitated discussion
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