Friday, 22 May 2015 from 14:30 to 15:30 (BST)
Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Yeats’ birthday event, Central Library, Friday 22 May, 2.30-3.30pm
Edinburgh Libraries are proud to celebrate William Butler Yeats’ 150th birthday – by hosting an Edinburgh Reads event AND exhibition in association with the Irish Consulate, Edinburgh. The exhibition, a 13 panel display about Yeats’ life, is in the Reference Room, Central Library, from 5-25 May.
Daniel Mulhall, Ambassador of Ireland to Great Britain since September 2013, talks about Ireland’s foremost Nobel prize winning poet – ‘Yeats, in the 20th century’.
In 1900, WB Yeats was 35 years old, having published the previous year an important collection, The Wind among the Reeds, which confirmed his reputation as a significant writer. Had Yeats stopped writing in 1900, he would now be remembered as a notable, late-romantic poet with some memorable lyrics to his name – ‘The Lake Isle of Innisfree’, ‘When you are old’, and ‘Had I the heavens’ embroidered cloths’, to name but a few.
By the time he died in 1939, Yeats had become a great modern poet, with a distinctive 20th century voice very different from the one found in the poems of his youth. This talk seeks to explain how Yeats made this journey from romanticism to modernism, how his work manages successfully to straddle 19th and 20th century literature, a rare achievement.