W.B. Yeats and the Muses by Joseph M. Hassett

By Joseph M. Hassett

W.B. Yeats and the Muses explores how 9 attention-grabbing girls encouraged a lot of W.B. Yeats's poetry. those girls are rather vital simply because Yeats perceived them when it comes to ideals approximately poetic thought comparable to the Greek inspiration nice poet is electrified and possessed through the female voices of the Muses. motivated by way of the Pre-Raphaelite concept of lady as 'romantic and mysterious, nonetheless the priestess of her shrine', Yeats came upon his Muses in dwelling ladies. His terribly lengthy and fruitful poetic profession used to be fuelled by means of passionate relationships with ladies to and approximately whom he wrote a few of his so much compelling poetry. The publication summarizes different Muse traditions that have been congenial to Yeats and exhibits how his belief of those ladies as Muses underlies his poetry. Newly on hand letters and manuscripts are used to discover the artistic method and interpret the poems.
Because Yeats believed that lyric poetry 'is no rootless flower, however the speech of a man,' exploring the connection among poem and Muse brings new coherence to the poetry, illuminates the method of its construction, and unlocks the 'second beauty' to which Yeats referred whilst he claimed that 'works of lyric genius, while the situations in their beginning is understood, achieve a moment a good looks, passing because it have been out of literature and turning into life.'
As lifestyles emerges from the literature, the Muses are proven to be vivid, multi-faceted personalities who shatter the belief of the inspiration as a passive stereotype and take their right position as begetters of undying poetry.

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Horton endorsing Blake’s belief ‘that the intellect must do its utmost before inspiration is possible. ’42 Gregory cleared the mouth of the Sibyl’s cave, but despite all her marvelous contributions to Yeats’s creative life, she was not a Muse. ’ Her erotic allure, generosity, beauty, and empathy with Yeats’s occult interests were exactly the qualities required to symbolize the reemergence on earth of the Beauty that had long faded from the world, thereby breaching the barrier between the upper and lower worlds that Grossman identifies in The Wind Among the Reeds.

6 Yeats’s familiarity with the Wisdom variation of the White Goddess tradition informed his perception of Shakespear as a priestess of the White Goddess. That tradition is encapsulated in Yeats’s observation that his friend, the painter W. R. ’ (YVP 1, 213) Simon Magus’ formulation of this doctrine was available to Yeats in his copy of Flaubert’s The Temptation of St. S. 8 These sources recount that the ‘First Thought’ of the divine mind, ‘the Universal Mother,’ ‘Ennoia,’ or ‘Wisdom,’9 – ‘the Museprinciple,’ as Harold Bloom put it10 – generated powers who created the world, and then, not wanting to be regarded as other than self-created, detained Ennoia and enclosed her in human flesh, within which she migrated for centuries in different female bodies.

Yeats thought Farr ‘had brought the trouble upon herself perhaps, for always in revolt against her own poetical gift, . . and against her own Demeterlike face in the mirror, she had tried when interviewed by the Press to shock and startle . . ’20 Recognizing, as Jane Harrison would soon write, that the Medusa was a ritual mask21 concealing Athena, Goddess of Wisdom (White Goddess 223–5), Farr would not resist characterization as a Medusa. Indeed, when she urged her readers to long for a glance from the Wisdom Goddess, she painted her Wisdom Goddess with the mask of the Medusa: We have all been taught to look with horror upon Medusa’s head with the serpents twisting round its face, the terror of which turned all to stone who gazed upon it.

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