I thought it was worth noting that today, June 13th, is the anniversary of the birth of Irish poet, W.B. Yeats.  William Butler Yeats was born on June 13, 1865 in Sandymount, County Dublin.  He would go on to be among the most influential writers in the 20th century -- not just in Ireland, but throughout the world.  He was a driving force behind the Irish Literary Revival of that century.

Pictured at left is the old 20-pound (or Punt Éireannach) Irish banknote, featuring the likeness of Yeats.  That note also included a representation of the mythological hero Cú Chulainn, based on the motif used by the Abbey Theatre (of which Yeats was a co-founder in 1899). The background is comprised of a manuscript of Yeats' play, "Deirdre."

Yeats' body of work is immense, but I wanted to include this poem which is, undoubtedly, one of his most famous works -- "The Lake Isle of Inisfree":

I will arise and go now, and go to Innisfree, And a small cabin build there, of clay and wattles made: Nine bean-rows will I have there, a hive for the honey-bee; And live alone in the bee-loud glade.

And I shall have some peace there, for peace comes dropping slow, Dropping from the veils of the morning to where the cricket sings; There midnight's all a glimmer, and noon a purple glow, And evening full of the linnet's wings.

I will arise and go now, for always night and day I hear lake water lapping with low sounds by the shore; While I stand on the roadway, or on the pavements grey, I hear it in the deep heart's core. 

Here is a brief video worth the watching ... It's a recording of W.B. Yeats himself reading this poem in 1932:

Do you have a favourite among W.B. Yeats poems and plays?  If so, please share it in a comment below as a way to help celebrate the brilliance of this Irish literary icon.

 

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Tags: Drama, Literature, On This Day, Poetry, Yeats

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