The Wild Swans at Coole

  • A. Norman Jeffares


Most of the poems in this volume were written between 1915 and 1918. During this period Yeats emerged from the slough of Responsibilities, yet was unhappy — until, after his marriage in 1917, he became preoccupied with writing AV. The poems in this volume reflect Yeats’s development when placed in chronological order, but he deliberately arranged them differently (seven of the poems written to Maud Gonne, for instance, were written in 1915, but are placed at CP 168–174), not wanting people, as he told his wife, to know too much about his personal concerns. The main intellectual interest of the volume lies in the poetry it contains, which deals tentatively with the system of AV. In part, Yeats regained his poetic energy (whose loss he had lamented in The Green Helmet) by using poetry as a vehicle for his strange thoughts and for his own personal life. After the 1916 Rising he proposed to Maud Gonne (her husband having been shot as one of the leaders), then to her daughter Iseult. He married Georgie Hyde-Lees, whom he had known for some years, in October 1917.


Beautiful Woman Blind Earth Break Dream Great Poet Collect Poem 


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© A. Norman Jeffares 1968

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  • A. Norman Jeffares

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