William Butler Yeats
William Butler Yeats (1865-1939) is an iconic poet both in Irish and English poetry. He was a Senator in the Irish Parliament (The Dáil Éireann). He was involved with the actors in the Easter Uprising in 1916 and memorialized them in an enduring poem. He was a Modernist and a participant in the Celtic Twilight. He proposed and supported the first bill to make divorce legal in Ireland. He restored a Norman Tower. And he is still a beloved figure in Ireland, although a conflicted one.
We will read several of Yeats's writings, not in an attempt to resolve these conflicts but to understand how they motivated his actions and energized his work. We will look at the history, the art, and the literature that illuminates his work.
Susan Facknitz had the pleasure of teaching Creative Writing and American and Irish Literature at JMU for 32 years. She led Study Abroad trips to Ireland and spent many months traveling the Irish countryside. Now retired, she leads a writers' group at Blue Ridge Community College and works at the Harrisonburg Visitor Center.
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