An Introduction for my Plays

  • W. B. Yeats


The theatre for which these plays were written was the creation of seven people: four players, Sara Allgood, her sister Maire O’Neill, girls in a blind factory who joined a patriotic society; William Fay, Frank Fay, an electric light fitter and an accountant’s clerk who got up plays at a coffee-house; three writers, Lady Gregory, John Synge, and I. If we all told the story we would all tell it differently. Somewhere among my printed diaries is a note describing how on the same night my two sisters and their servant dreamt the same dream in three different grotesque forms. Once I was in meditation with three students of the supernormal faculties; our instructor had given us the same theme, what, I have forgotten; one saw a ripe fruit, one an unripe, one a lit torch, one an unlit. Science has never thought about the subject and so has no explanation of those parallel streams that make up a great part of history. When I follow back my stream to its source I find two dominant desires: I wanted to get rid of irrelevant movement—the stage must become still that words might keep all their vividness— and I wanted vivid words.


Ripe Fruit False Memory Realistic Action Musical Note Parallel Stream 
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© Mrs W. B. Yeats 1961

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  • W. B. Yeats

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