The Arch-Poet

The Arch-Poet

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Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
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Binding: Paperback
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The first volume in Roy Foster's magisterial biography of W.B. Yeats was hailed as a work of huge significance (The Atlantic Monthly) and a stupendous historiographical feat (Irish Sunday Independent). Now, the eagerly awaited second volume explores the complex poetic, political, and
personal intricacies of Yeats's dramatic final decades, a period that saw the Easter Rebellion, the founding of the Irish state in 1922, and the production of Yeats's greatest masterpieces.
In the conclusion of this first fully authorized biography, Foster brilliantly illuminates the circumstances--the rich internal and external experiences--that shaped the great poetry of Yeats's later years: The Wild Swans at Coole, Sailing to Byzantium, The Tower, The Circus Animals
Desertion, Under Ben Bulben, and many others. Yeats's pursuit of Irish nationalism and an independent Irish culture, his continued search for supernatural truths through occult experimentation, his extraordinary marriage, a series of tempestuous love affairs, and his lingering obsession with Maud
Gonne are all explored here with a nuance and awareness rare in literary biography. Foster gives us the very texture of Yeats's life and thought, revealing the many ways he made poetry out of the quarrel with himself and the upheaval around him. But this consummate biography also shows that Yeats
was much more than simply a lyric poet and examines in great detail Yeats's non-poetic work--his essays, plays, polemics, and memoirs. The enormous and varied circle of Yeats's friends, lovers, family, collaborators and antagonists inhabit and enrich a personal world of astounding energy, artistic
commitment and verve; while the poet himself is shown returning again and again to his governing preoccupations, sex and death.
Based on complete and unprecedented access to Yeats's papers and written with extraordinary grace and insight, W.B. Yeats, A Life offers the fullest portrait yet of the private and public life of one of the twentieth century's greatest poets.