William Butler Yeats


William Butler Yeats is widely considered to be one of the greatest poets of the 20th century. He belonged to the Protestant, Anglo-Irish minority that had controlled the economic, political, social, and cultural life of Ireland since at least the end of the 17th century. Most members of this minority considered themselves English people who happened to have been born in Ireland, but Yeats staunchly affirmed his Irish nationality. Although he lived in London for 14 years of his childhood (and kept a permanent home there during the first half of his adult life), Yeats maintained his cultural roots, featuring Irish legends and heroes in many of his poems and plays. Perhaps no other poet stood to represent a people and country as poignantly as Yeats, both during and after his life, and his poetry is widely read today across the English-speaking world. Source

To a Child Dancing in the Wind

Dance there upon the shore; 

What need have you to care

For wind or water's roar? 

And tumble out your hair 

That the salt drops have wet; 

Being young you have not known 

The fool's triumph, nor yet

Love lost as soon as won,

Nor the best labourer dead 

And all the sheaves to bind. 

What need have you to dread 

The monstrous crying of wind!





Literary Movements:


Anthology Years:



Childhood & Coming of Age

Memory & The Past

Literary Devices:

Rhetorical Question

a question asked for effect, not necessarily to be answered


correspondence of sound between words or the endings of words, especially when these are used at the ends of lines of poetry