Some Recent Books by Irish Writers

  • W. B. Yeats
Part of the The Collected Edition of the Works of W. B. Yeats book series (CWWBY)


Your Celt in London has been so busy about certain affairs of his own that he has let months go by without sending you any of his random notes, and let quite a pile of Irish books collect and lie unreviewed upon his table. Among those on which the dust lies least thickly — for it is among the last arrivals — is Lays of Country, Home and Friends (Sealy, Bryers and Walker: Dublin),#x2020; a little green book of poems by Miss Ellen O’Leary.1 She was able to partly correct the proofs, but did not live to look on the completed book; our Irish printers — or whoever was responsible have been laggards indeed. If I remember rightly, Mr. Rolleston’s introduction was written and in proof almost, if not quite, two years ago.2 However, it is a book worth waiting for. I am distinctly of opinion#x2020; that Miss O’Leary was a better writer than either “Mary” or “Eva” of The Nation.3 She had not the good fortune to live in a period when all Ireland was supremely interested in songs and ballads, when The Nation newspaper was filling the four corners of the land with lay and lyric. Had she done so, her name would long ago have been as well known as theirs. As it is, no maker of Irish anthologies will neglect this little green book. The following is a song in the old sense of the word, that is to say, a singable poem worthy of good music.


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© Michael Yeats 1989

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  • W. B. Yeats

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