It’s the birth centenary of the Irish poet WB Yeats and all sorts of excitement are planned.
The great poet and playwrights has been for me, as for so many Irish writers, inspiration and fascination.
I was first introduced as a small child to his famous words in “The Lake Isle of Inishfree:: “Come away o human child, to the waters and the wild, with a fairy hand-in-hand, for the world’s more full of weeping, than you can understand…” And I thought they were written for me alone.
This sense of intimacy has been what I have always most treasured in his poetry.
But Yeats was, more than most of us, a multifaceted man, with a very public presence too. In the past 10 years or so I have become more and more interested in his investigations into creative and artistic theory.
Towards the end of last year, I spent some time thinking about how I wanted to to join in the celebrations of his life and work.
I isolated three intentions:
- I want to honour him as a fiction writer and creative and artistic theorist ~ aspects of his work that are often neglected.
- I want to remind people of the unique theories that underlay his arts practice, and how they have relevance today.
- I want to invite people, and Irish people in particular, to examine their own places in the world, in the light of his artistic, creative and spiritual values.
I’ll tell you next time the projects I’m putting in place to hopefully fulfil these intentions.
Advance Hint: if you’re in striking distance of London, keep April 1st free.
And if you would like to attend the Yeats Summer School in Sligo, Ireland, in late July/early August, drop me a line through the contact form.