Yeats, Synge and the Georgians

  • Michael J. Sidnell


Much of the commentary on Yeats’s poetry has been intensely concerned with the process of his development, but there has been almost no attempt to correlate that process, in detail, with the poetic movements of the half-century or so that Yeats’s career spanned. It is only the Yeats of the nineties who is seen in a clear relation to his contemporaries. Thereafter we have a split image of, on the one hand, the sustained coherence of Yeats’s work and, on the other, of several revolutions each attempting to supplant, rather than to develop, the poetry of the previous regime. For such poetic continuity as there is in this period, Yeats’s work is the prime evidence. Yeats, however, directed attention to the personal aspect of his poetic struggle and his poetry is so obviously the ‘flower’ of a man, has such a richly satisfying autobiographical pattern, that we tend to lose sight of its general poetic context; and also of the fact that younger poets’ work made a great impact on Yeats’s poetic personality.


Split Image Pure Imagination Young Poet Cold Spring Water Mythical Figure 
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© Michael J. Sidnell 1996

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  • Michael J. Sidnell

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