100 Inspirational Quotes By W.B. Yeats That Will Give You New Perspective Of Life
Poet & Dramatist
A list of the greatest Irish poets and litterateurs of all time cannot go without the mention of William Butler Yeats. A Nobel laureate, Yeats was an indomitable literary figure of the 20th century who eventually became a pillar of British and Irish literary establishments. He served as one of the founders of the Abbey Theatre and was a chief playwright until John Synge. Interestingly, though Yeats received Nobel Prize chiefly for his dramatic works, his significance today however rests on his lyric achievement. He is one of the few writers whose most prolific works came in after the coveted Nobel Prize. Yeats later works comprising of ‘The Wild Swans at Coole’, ‘Michael Robartes and the Dancer’, ‘The Tower’, ‘The Winding Stair and Other Poems’ and ‘Last Poems and Plays’ made him one of the most outstanding and influential twentieth-century poets. Unlike other modernists of his era, Yeats was a master of traditional style. He used allusive imagery and symbolic structures throughout his life. His works are based on recurrent themes that are the contrast of art and life, physical and spiritual masks, cyclical theories of life and the ideal of beauty and ceremony contrasting with the hubbub of modern life. Even today, his poetry remains highly popular and has been repeatedly adapted and rediscovered by new literary and performance movements. However, the rich legacy of poetry is not the only thing that Yeats left behind after him. He also gave the world some of the most meaningful collection of quotes that have given readers a new perspective and a new vision to life and values. Explore this section and brief yourself.
I have spread my dreams under your feet.
Tread softly because you tread on my dreams. The world is full of magic things, patiently waiting for our senses to grow sharper. For he would be thinking of love
Till the stars had run away
And the shadows eaten the moon. Come away, O human child!
To the waters and the wild
With a faery, hand in hand,
For the world's more full of weeping than you can understand. Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire. A mermaid found a swimming lad,
Picked him up for her own,
Pressed her body to his body,
Laughed; and plunging down
Forgot in cruel happiness
That even lovers drown. Faeries, come take me out of this dull world,
For I would ride with you upon the wind,
Run on the top of the dishevelled tide,
And dance upon the mountains like a flame. Life is a long preparation for something that never happens. But I, being poor, have only my dreams;
I have spread my dreams under your feet;
Tread softly because you tread on my dreams."
(Aedh Wishes for the Cloths of Heaven) What can be explained is not poetry. Being Irish, he had an abiding sense of tragedy, which sustained him through temporary periods of joy. WINE comes in at the mouth
And love comes in at the eye;
That's all we shall know for truth
Before we grow old and die.
I lift the glass to my mouth,
I look at you, and sigh. There is another world, but it is in this one. Out of the quarrel with others we make rhetoric; out of the quarrel with ourselves we make poetry. In dreams begin responsibilities. Let us go forth, the tellers of tales, and seize whatever prey the heart long for, and have no fear. Everything exists, everything is true, and the earth is only a little dust under our feet. ...I'm looking for the face I had, before the world was made... Do not wait to strike till the iron is hot; but make it hot by striking. How many loved your moments of glad grace,
And loved your beauty with love false or true;
But one man loved the pilgrim soul in you,
And loved the sorrows of your changing face. Think like a wise man but communicate in the language of the people. There are no strangers, only friends you have not met yet. I bring you with reverent hands
The books of my numberless dreams. The worst thing about some men is that when they are not drunk they are sober. To long a sacrifice can make a stone of a heart All empty souls tend toward extreme opinions. Too many things are occurring for even a big heart to hold. Hearts are not had as a gift but hearts are earned
By those who are not entirely beautiful. When you are old and grey and full of sleep
And nodding by the fire, take down this book,
And slowly read, and dream of the soft look
Your eyes had once, and of their shadows deep The best lack all conviction, while the worst are full of passionate intensity. I know that I shall meet my fate somewhere among the clouds above; those that I fight I do not hate, those that I guard I do not love. We can only begin to live when we conceive life as
Tragedy. Wine enters through the mouth,
Love, the eyes.
I raise the glass to my mouth,
I look at you,
I sigh. Everything exists, everything is true and the earth is just a bit of dust beneath our feet. Literature is always personal, always one man's vision of the world, one man's experience, and it can only be popular when men are ready to welcome the visions of others. I whispered, 'I am too young,' and then, 'I am old enough'; wherefore I threw a penny to find out if I might love. We taste and feel and see the truth. We do not reason ourselves into it. My wretched dragon is perplexed. Hearts are not to be had as a gift, hearts are to be earned. People who lean on logic and philosophy and rational exposition end by starving the best part of the mind. Love comes in at the eye. Happiness is neither virtue nor pleasure nor this thing nor that but simply growth. We are happy when we are growing. It is so many years before one can believe enough in what one feels even to know what the feeling is Think where man's glory
Most begins and ends
And say my glory was
That I had such friends. Out of Ireland have we come.
Great hatred, little room,
Maimed us at the start.
I carry from my mother's womb
A fanatic heart. O body swayed to music, O brightening glance,
How can we know the dancer from the dance? It takes more courage to examine the dark corners of your own soul than it does for a soldier to fight on a battlefield Sometimes my feet are tired and my hands are quiet, but there is no quiet in my heart. And softness came from the starlight and filled me full to the bone. And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches toward Bethlehem to be born? An intellectual hatred is the worst. One loses, as one grows older, something of the lightness of one's dreams; one begins to take life up in both hands, and to care more for the fruit than the flower, and that is no great loss perhaps. Everything that's lovely is
But a brief, dreamy kind of delight. I kiss you and kiss you, With arms around my own, Ah, how shall I miss you, When, dear, you have grown. Things fall apart;
the center cannot hold... The mystical life is at the centre of all that I do and all that I think and all that I write. Be not inhospitable to strangers, lest they be angels in disguise. God guard me from those thoughts men think
In the mind alone. Now that my ladder's gone,
I must lie down where all my ladders start,
In the foul rag-and-bone shop of the heart. What do we know but that we face one another in this place? Ecstasy is from the contemplation of things vaster than the individual and imperfectly seen perhaps, by all those that still live. Where there is nothing, there is God. For he comes, the human child!
To the waters and the wild
With a faery, hand in hand,
From a world more full of weeping
than he can understand. Too long a sacrifice
Can make a stone of the heart.
Oh, when may it suffice? There midnight's all a glimmer, and noon a purple glow,
And evening full of the linnet's wings. I am still of [the] opinion that only two topics can be of the least interest to a serious and studious mood--sex and the dead. The creations of a great writer are little more than the moods and passions of his own heart, given surnames and Christian names, and sent to walk the earth. And I will find some peace there, for peace comes dropping slow,/ Dropping from the veils of the morning to where the cricket sings... I heard the old, old, men say 'all that's beautiful drifts away, like the waters. When one gets quiet, then something wakes up inside one, something happy and quiet like the stars. I think all happiness depends on the energy to assume the mask of some other life, on a re-birth as something not one's self. I went out to the hazelwood because a fire was in my head. The intellect of man is forced to choose
Perfection of the life, or of the work
And if it take the second must refuse
A heavenly mansion, raging in the dark. For the winds that awakened the stars are blowing through my blood. I will arise and go now, for always night and day I hear lake water lapping...I hear it in the deep heart's core. A lonely impulse of delight Fairies in Ireland are sometimes as big as we are, sometimes bigger, and sometimes, as I have been told, about three feet high. Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world And I shall have some peace there, for peace comes dropping slow,
Dropping from the veils of the morning to where the cricket sings;... I must lie down where all the ladders start, in the foul rag and bone shop of the heart. We had fed the heart on fantasies,
The heart's grown brutal from the fare,
More substance in our enmities
Than in our love Time drops in decay
Like a candle burnt out.
And the mountains and woods
Have their day, have their day;
But, kindly old rout
Of the fire-born moods,
You pass not away. We have fallen in the dreams the ever-living
Breathe on the tarnished mirror of the world,
And then smooth out with ivory hands and sigh. The blessed spirits must be sought within the self which is common to all Cast a cold eye
on life, on death
Horseman pass by I hate journalists. There is nothing in them but tittering jeering emptiness.
They have all made what Dante calls the Great Refusal. The shallowest people on the ridge of the earth. The tragedy of sexual intercourse is the perpetual virginity of the soul. Hearts with one purpose alone/Through summer and winter seem/Enchanted to a stone/To trouble the living stream. I spit into the face of Time
That has transfigured me. Nor dread nor hope attend
A dying animal;
A man awaits his end
Dreading and hoping all. The Irishman sustains himself during brief periods of joy by the knowledge that tragedy is just around the corner. Cuchulain stirred,
Stared on the horses of the sea, and heard
The cars of battle and his own name cried;
And fought with the invulnerable tide. How but in custom and in ceremony are innocence and beauty born?
All the wild-witches, those most notable ladies
For all their broom-sticks and their tears,
Their angry tears, are gone.
I wish for you constantly for I want to talk about everybody and everything. I can't go up to a stranger & say 'your manners &looks have stirred me to this profound meditation'-
Man can embody the truth but he cannot know it.
The intellect of man is forced to choose
Perfection of the life, or of the work.
Is it not certain that the Creator yawns in earthquake and thunder and other popular displays, but toils in rounding the delicate spiral of a shell?
-Yeats, The Trembling of the Veil
BELOVED, gaze in thine own heart,
The holy tree is growing there; The Light of lights looks always on the motive, not the deed
The Shadow of Shadows looks on the deed alone.