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W.B.Yeats: The Love Poems

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'Man is in love and loves what vanishes,/ What more is there to say?' Yeats' idealism permeates his love poetry, whether it is his love for Maud Gonne, Olivia Shakespear or even for Ireland itself. This was the essence of Yeats' genius, central to the attraction he holds for readers today. However, following his disillusionment in middle age after Maud Gonne married John MacBride, his style became more direct, austere and forceful. Yeats' comments on loves in his later life are particularly evocative, providing deeply moving portraits of people and places. In old age Yeats wrote with an increasing urgency and at times even of disappointment and tragedy, but he continued to portray the experience of love most effectively and challengingly. An excellent introduction puts Yeats' work within the context of his life and loves; the notes accompanying each poem putting each, from the youthful Rose of Intellectual Beauty to the Testimony of Later Years, into the sharpest possible focus. Hide synopsis

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