William Butler Yeats

William Butler Yeats

William Butler Yeats was one of the most important poets of the 20th century. He passed away in January 1939 after a career in prose, drama, and poetry. His work was incredibly influential in Ireland as well as around the world. Read more about William Butler Yeats.

A Coat

‘A Coat’ by William Butler Yeats describes the poet’s own writing practice through the metaphor of an embroidered coat that is stolen and used by others.

A Dream of Death

‘A Dream of Death’ is a poem about one such dream that uses strong imagery to build an image that is touching both with and without its historic context.

A Prayer for my Daughter

 ‘A Prayer for my Daughter’ by William Butler Yeats speaks about the poet’s family. It demonstrates his concern and anxiety over the future wellbeing and prospects of his daughter, Anne.

A Prayer For My Son

‘A Prayer for my Son,’ written from the perspective of a father who wants to protect his son against all odds during the brewing war in Ireland. Read the poem with a complete analysis.

Aedh Wishes for the Cloths of Heaven

‘Aedh Wishes for the Cloths of Heaven’ is a powerful and interesting take on unrequited love, and it would certainly be an argument in Gonne’s favor today.

Among School Children

William Butler Yeats wrote this poem, ‘Among School Children,’ most probably in 1926 after his visit in that year to a progressive convent school at Waterfront, St. Otteran’s School.

An Irish Airman Foresees His Death

After losing his dear friend in World War I, William Butler Yeats wrote this particular poem, ‘An Irish Airman Foresees His Death. Robert Gregory, an Irish Airman, was accidentally shot down by an Italian Aviator, who happened to be a dear friend of Yeats.

Brown Penny

‘Brown Penny’ by William Butler Yeats is an expression of the various levels of honest “love” that follow us from birth to death.


‘Byzantium’ by W. B. Yeats deliberates on the poet’s experiences of being in Byzantium. It describes the process of entering the afterlife.

Coole Park And Ballylee, 1931

‘Coole Park And Ballylee, 1931’ by William Butler Yeats is a complex, mournful poem that depicts loss and change against the landscape of Coole Park. 

Easter, 1916

‘Easter, 1916’ is a reflection on the events surrounding the Easter Rising, an armed insurrection that began in Dublin on Easter Monday, April 24, 1916.

He Wishes His Beloved Were Dead

‘He Wishes His Beloved Were Dead’ by William Butler Yeats is a ballad in which one lover yearns for the death of the other so that they may be together as he wishes.

Leda and the Swan

Published in Yeats’ collection of Later Poems in 1926, ‘Leda and the Swan’ is a sonnet based on a myth from Greek mythology. According to Greek myth, Leda was the mother of mankind.


‘Meru’ by William Butler Yeats describes the illusion of civilization and the importance of embarking on a spiritual journey.

Never Give All The Heart

“Never Give All The Heart” by William Butler Yeats is a poem written in advice against heartbreak. The poem is urging never to devote yourself completely.

Nineteen Hundred and Nineteen

‘Nineteen hundred and Nineteen’ by W.B. Yeats is a complex poem that deals with his complex emotions as he looks at a war that crushed Ireland.

No Second Troy

The twelve-line poem, ‘No Second Troy,’ is addressed to Maud Gonne, who, to Yeats’s great distress, married John MacBride in 1903.


‘Politics’ by William Butler Yeats is the last lyric poem Yeats wrote. It alludes to wars around the world including World War II which was to begin the year after this poem was written. 

Sailing to Byzantium

Yeats’ poems are continually referenced in popular culture, including the poem ‘Sailing to Byzantium’. Its first line, “That is no country for old men…” was used for the title of Cormac McCarthy’s popular novel, “No Country for Old Men,” later adapted for the big screen.

The Cap and Bells

‘The Cap and Bells’ highlights that in situations of infatuation and love, one person sacrifices their existence just to be recognized and maybe even loved.

The Circus Animals’ Desertion

‘The Circus Animals’ Desertion’ by W.B. Yeats describes moments of Yeats’ own experience when he struggled to find a theme to write on. 

The Lake Isle of Innisfree

‘The Lake Isle of Innisfree’ takes the reader through a speaker’s fantastical daydream to leave their world behind for the peace that nature brings.

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