Art and religion in W.B. Yeats : the poet and the saint

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Joan Rowena Pannell (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site:
Robert Watson

Abstract: Yeats believed that the aim of poetry was to realize and communicate with an ideal spiritual world. To him, the illuminative powers of poetry were dependent upon the employment of symbolism, and the efficacy of symbols, in turn, was dependent upon the existence of a great racial memory, a collective storehouse to which he attributed many of the characteristics commonly ascribed to a deity. In a moment of heightened consciousness, he thought, the poet may become conjoined with his buried self, that part of himself which finds its home in the Anima Mundi, and enjoy a unity of being; at the same time he discovers a truth he may express in his poetry. The experience of the poet is very similar to that of the religious mystic in its qualities of transcendence, fulfillment, unity, and revelation.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 1965
Yeats, W. B. $q (William Butler), $d 1865-1939 $x Criticism and interpretation
Yeats, W. B. $q (William Butler), $d 1865-1939 $x Symbolism

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