(Tony Clayton Lea’s article appeared in the Irish Times, 6/13.)

A century and a half to the day since William Butler Yeats was born, Edna O’Brien, Paula Meehan, Philip King, Caitriona Yeats and Cathal Coughlan say why his work still matters



I love Yeats’s work, and I think the range is phenomenal. As we know, but which we have to keep remembering, his interests were poetry, philosophy, mysticism and politics. That’s a big haul, and he encompassed all those qualities in the range of poetry. He said himself that his first poems were all foam and cloud; that is partly true – there is some cloud – but there was also an enormous mythic depth.


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