Annotated Bibliography Essay
Cervo, Nathan A. “Yeats’ ‘Among School Children.” Explicator Fall (2001): p 30-31. This piece
discusses arguably one of the more interesting works of Yeats entitled “among School Children”. The discussion revolves around how W.B Yeats deconstructs the value of the things that are taught by kindly nuns to the children under their supposed care. It is clear from the onset that the analysis points out the view that Yeats does not approve of such and adopts a nihilistic view of the endeavor.
A Key concept here is how Yeats knows that “man’s enterprise” amounts to nothing (nil, to 0). The analysis goes on to show how Yeats totally despises such acts and criticizes the actions taken by not only the nuns in the price but also of similarly aligned individuals in society as well.
article focuses on Yeats’ poem “Among School Children.”
Clark, David and Clark, Rosalind. The Collected Works of W.B. Yeats, Vol. II: The Plays.
Scribner (2001): page 956.
The plays, as edited by David R. Clark and Rosalind E. Clark, do a magnificent job of compiling all of the works of Yeats and arranging them in the order that the author had originally intended. While most other works just randomly place the works of Yeats in books or group them according to supposed themes and topics, this piece takes all of works of Yeats and arranges them in such a way as to reflect a continued progression and development in the style of Yeats. With works such as Countess Cathleen and the Death of Chuchlian and Yeats’ own interpretations of Oedipus Rex and Oedipus at Colonus, this collection allows one to enter the mind of Yeats. Perhaps the most impressive details that is included in this work are the accurate text and extensive editorial notes, this work is a very informative piece for anyone intent on understanding and learning more about the works of Yeats. This text will surely bring about a better appreciation of the works of the great W.B Yeats and perhaps bring about renewed interest in his works and initiate critical evaluation of his pieces.
Finneran, Richard. Yeats: An Annual of Critical and textual Studies, Volume XVI 1998 (2001):
294 pages. This consists of six (6) articles, a long review essay and four shorter reviews. Richard Finneran has had the courage to reorder the poems according to notes that Yeats made shortly before his death. All readers of Yeats will need this book; when they open it they will feel a surprise like that experienced by St. Brendan the Navigator and his crew when they disembarked upon an island that turned out to be the back of a dormant sea monster. This latest volume of Yeats continues the tradition of excellence with nine new critical essays and a host of book reviews. Highlights include “Yeats at Fifty,” a recent essay by A. Walton Litz; a consideration of the art in the Cuala Press Broadsides by Elizabeth Bergmann Loizeaux; and a discussion of the textual and interpretive history of The Green Helmet and Other Poems by David Holdeman. Other contributors include Brian Arkins on style in Yeats’s poetry, David Clark on “Her Vision in a Wood,” Peter Denman on Ferguson and Yeats, Shelley Sharp on Yeats’s theater, and Janis E. Tedesco on the sexual dynamic of A Vision. Rounding out the volume are the annual bibliography of Yeats’s scholarship by K. P. S. Jochum and a compilation of dissertation abstracts.
Fleming, Deborah. W.B Yeats and Postcolonialism. Locust Hill Press (2000) The author in her
work entitled W.B Yeats and Postcolonialism, Locust Hill Press, 2000, compiles critical essays which all revolve around the primary issue of whether or not W.B. Yeats should be classified as a postcolonial writer. The main thrust of Flemming is in showing that a true model of postcolonial enterprise is a work that is highly revolutionary. In this collection, she launches into a discussion of how the works of W.B Yeats, while highly critical of modernity, can also be judged as politically revolutionary. With works such as “‘sing whatever is well made’ : W.B. Yeats and postcolonialism” / Deborah Fleming — “‘The “rough beast’ : a postcolonial and postmodern Yeats” / Cristina J. Thaut — “Yeats and eugenicism : the Garrison mentality in a decolonizing Ireland” / Spurgeon Thompson — “The question of Ireland : Yeats, Heaney, and the postcolonial paradigm” / Eugene O’Brien — “Decolonizing Ireland/England? Yeats, Seamus Heaney and Ted Hughes” / Raphael Ingelbien — “W.B. Yeats and Eavan Boland : postcolonial poets?” / Richard Rankin Russell, this collection presents a very thorough discussion on the issue on Yeats and post colonialism.
Harper, George Mills and Harper, Margaret Mills. Yeats’s Vision Papers, Volume 4. Palgrave
(2000): 276 pages. This publication primarily contains manuscript versions of “The Discoveries of Michael Robardes” and a different adaptation of the text of “The Great Wheel” and “The Twenty-Eight Embodiments” from the A Vision. It contains an additional appendix that provides a deeper understanding of Yeats’ compositional behavior, theories of history, human psychology and occultist philosophy. It completes the compilation of work of the other three volumes published in 1992 and is significant in that it highlights the poet’s dissatisfaction with the dialogue form, although it is almost innate in Yeats’ works. The author asserts that the poet’s direction toward a more dogmatic form of writing still merges with the dialogue form. However, contrary to what many scholars observe, the divide between poetry and dogma in Yeatsian works is still wider, as suggested by this book, even as he tries to adopt a more dogmatic form and notwithstanding his occultist tendencies.
Matthews, Steven. Yeats as Precursor: Readings in Irish, British, and American Poetry. St.
Martin’s Press (2000): 238 pages. This article acknowledges Yeats as the precursor of the poetic generations that followed him under the three national poetry traditions, those of the Irish, the British and the Americans. Contemporary poets like Louis MacNeice, Austin Clarke, Patrick Kavanagh, Brian Coffey, Padraic Fallon, Thomas Kinsella, Seamus Heaney, Derek Mahon, Eavan Boland, Paul Mauldoon, W.H. Auden, Donald Davie, etc. The author provides an analysis of the poetic influence of Yeats over the writers mentioned above, focusing on social, cultural, literary and psychological influences.
O’Hara, Daniel. “Recent Yeats Studies.” Journal of Modern Literature Summer 24
(2001): p 518-24. This article by Daniel O’Hara provides a survey and review of eight publications from the years 1999-2001, which represent the range and division of studies about the poet and his works. These publications include the most useful approach to Yeats such as literary biography, textual scholarship, literary or discourse analysis, critical thinking and even occult studies (518). The articles reviewed are the following: The Life of W.B. Yeats by Terrence Brown, The Collected Works of W.B. Yeats, Vol. II: The Plays by David Clark and Rosalind Clark, Yeats: An Annual of Critical and Textual Studies, XVI by Richard Finneran, W.B. Yeats and Postcolonialism by Deborah Fleming, W.B. Yeats – Twentieth Century Magus: An In-depth Studyof Yeats’s Esoteric Practices and Beliefs, Including Excerpts from his Magic Diaries by Susan Johnson Graf, Yeats’s Vision Papers by George Mills Harper and Margaret Mills Harper, Yeats as Precursor: Readings in Irish, British, and American Poetry by Steven Matthews and Yeats’s Poetry, Drama and Prose: Authoritative Texts, Contexts and Criticisms by James Pethica. The author not only summarizes the publications, but gives a critique of each and presents the readers with their relevance in modern English Studies.
Ryf, Robert S. “Yeats’ Major Metaphysical Poems.” Journal of Modern Literature (1975
Feb 4): p 610-23. This article discusses Yeats’ major metaphysical poems, as the title states. The author starts out by defining the word “metaphysical” as “a preoccupation with the apparent polarities, dichotomies, or as Yeats came to call them, antimonies of experience” (610). The article reveals that Yeats development as a poet over the years, his constant modification not only of the nature of his poetry but the points of view from which they are written, as stemming from the literary works and figures that have influenced him and the changes he has experienced in his public and personal life. (611) His eventual transformation in becoming a metaphysical poet lead him to focus more and more on the dichotomies or antimonies. The poems that were discussed principally include only those from The Tower (1928) and The Winding Stairs and other Poems (1933), and not those from the Last Poems (1936-1939). The author justifies this, not by yielding to other scholars’ observation that Yeats’ Last Poems is a failure of the poet to resolve the antimonies, but because the subject matter of the article corresponds more with the poems contained in the first two mentioned above.