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Creative Writing: film poems, WB Yeats, Maud Gonne, Iseult Gonne

Three Great Readings of WB Yeats Poems

Below are three of my favorite readings of Yeats’s poetry. The first is from Bob Geldof’s flawed but fabulous program for RTE TV, Fanatic Heart. Liam Neeson Reads “Easter 1916” The second reading is from the film adaptation of every book lover’s must-read book, 84 Charing Cross Road. Amazingly, they managed to turn it into a must-see film, too, with the fabulous Anne Bancroft and Anthony Hopkins. Anthony Hopkins Reads “He Wishes For The Cloths of Heaven”   And the last reading is a film poem, commissioned for the Yeats2015 anniversary celebrations by the wonderful actor, producer, rainmaker and all-round lovely, Shevaun Wilder….

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WB Yeats’s Fanatic Heart Was Not For Ireland But For Love

“It was all ‘father, oh father’,” Bob Geldof says, mimicking a pious female voice addressing a priest. Then in his own voice: “Fuck off, you’re not my father.” Geldof is railing against Irish groveling to the Roman Catholic  church in Fanatic Heart, a documentary about the life and work of Ireland’s great poet (and subject of my most recent novel): William Butler Yeats. Geldof argues that the poet and  literary statesman brought about revolutionary change in Ireland’s struggle for independence, without firing a bullet. Instead of guns, his modus operandi was a poetic national vision, betrayed by the Roman Catholic nation-state that emerged after Irish independence. So it was not…

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