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Proceedings of the British Academy, Volume 151, 2006 Lectures$
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P. J. Marshall

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780197264249

Published to British Academy Scholarship Online: January 2012

DOI: 10.5871/bacad/9780197264249.001.0001

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‘Now Shall I Make My Soul’: Approaching Death in Yeats’s Life and Work

‘Now Shall I Make My Soul’: Approaching Death in Yeats’s Life and Work

Warton Lecture on English Poetry

Chapter:
(p.339) ‘Now Shall I Make My Soul’: Approaching Death in Yeats’s Life and Work
Source:
Proceedings of the British Academy, Volume 151, 2006 Lectures
Author(s):

R. F. Foster

Publisher:
British Academy
DOI:10.5871/bacad/9780197264249.003.0012

This lecture traces W. B. Yeats' preoccupation with the changing forms of death throughout his life, from his fin-de-siécle love-poetry to his poems of death. These poems of death were linked to his interest in Celtic legend, Irish intellectual influences and conjunctions, and magical ritual and psychic research. The lecture considers Yeats' approach to death in his later work, concluding with his creation of a structured canon of work in the light of his own death and the work that he wrote on his deathbed.

Keywords:   W.B. Yeats, changing forms of death, fin-de-siécle love-poetry, poems of death, structured canon of work, Celtic legend, Ireland, magical ritual, psychic research, approach to death

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