Yeats and the making of a new Ireland

Neither bullets nor angry crowds could deter WB Yeats from fighting a dissenting campaign for liberalism after Irish independence

14th June, 2015
Yeats and the making of a new Ireland
WB Yeats: despaired of the Free state in the 1930s. Picture: Getty

Yesterday was the 150th anniversary of the birth of WB Yeats. What would he make of today’s Ireland? I think he would recognise it, for in some of its best aspects, he helped create it.

His genius, obviously, was as a poet. But he made a striking contribution also in politics, particularly on the battleground of social policy and mores.

He briefly considered a possible ministerial career, having been told he could be...

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