Readings

Required Texts

Amazon logo Finneran, Richard J., ed. The Yeats Reader. New York, NY: Scribner, 1997. ISBN: 9780684831886.

Amazon logo Crotty, Patrick, ed. Modern Irish Poetry. Belfast, IR: Blackstaff Press, 1995. ISBN: 9780856405617.

Amazon logo Higgins, Rita Ann. Throw in the Vowels. Tarset, UK: Bloodaxe Books, 2005. ISBN: 9781852247003.

Amazon logo Boland, Eavan. An Origin Like Water . New York, NY: W.W. Norton, 1996. ISBN: 9780393038521.

Amazon logo Ni Dhomhnaill, Nuala. Selected Poems. Dublin, New Island Books, 1989. ISBN: 9781851860272.

First, the man himself. Browse freely and widely in the poems in The Yeats Reader. The Autobiographical selections are worth a glance, as well. Be sure to pay some attention to the following poems:

  • Adam's Curse
  • Song of Wandering Aengus
  • No Second Troy
  • The Wild Swans at Coole
  • The Fisherman
  • Easter 1916
  • On a Political Prisoner
  • A Prayer for My Daughter
  • Sailing to Byzantium
  • Byzantium
  • The Tower
  • Coole Park and Ballylee
  • The Crazy Jane poems
  • Lapis Lazuli
  • The Circus Animals' Desertion
  • The Coat
  • Among School Children
  • Leda and the Swan
  • When You Are Old

The poem discussed each day should be read prior to coming to class.

SES # TOPICS
1 Hearty welcomes (the Irish are renowned for hospitality, after all)
2 "The Wild Swans at Coole"
3 "Lapis Lazuli"
4 Yeats, "When You Are Old" and "Leda and the Swan"
5 "Easter 1916"
6 Patrick Kavanagh
7 Louis MacNeice
8 John Hewitt
9 Richard Murphy
10 John Montague
11 Seamus Heaney
12 Michael Hartnett
13 Derek Mahon
14 Paul Durcan
15 Paul Muldoon
16 Ciaran Carson
17 Paula Meehan
18 Medbh McGuckian
19 Free sampler day. Come to class prepared to read us a poem from the Crotty anthology. No explanation or defense expected, we'll just listen.
20 A video encounter with Eavan Boland
21 Yeats, Cathleen ni Houlihan and Evan Boland, "A Kind of Scar." Think back to any women you recall appearing in any of the poems we've read.
22 Panel discussion of Boland's poetry. Each of you should put forth a "provocation" a statement which includes which poem in the book seems most clearly to grapple with Yeats, and a few sentences about how that struggle is enacted.
23 Panel discussion of Rita Ann Higgins. Same sort of "provocation" due for this class.
24 Panel discussion on Nuala ni Dhomhnaill. Same "provocation" system as before.
25 Last class. Ah, that we could sip some stout or fine Irish whiskey!