(1865-1939) Irish playwright and poet, one of the two or three most significant twentieth century poets to write in English, winner of the Nobel Prize in 1923. Unlike his close contemporary Wyndham Lewis, he was relatively immune to the kind of early twentieth century modernism sympathetic to pre-World War One Futurist epiphanies of the Machine (see Filippo Tommaso Marinetti), nor was he visibly influenced by the milder 1930s Futurism that marked the early work of a later poet like W H Auden. Yeats is of considerable importance to Irish folklore and fantasy [for further details see his entry in The Encyclopedia of Fantasy under links below]; his importance to sf is relatively narrow but intense, almost solely restricted to the apocalyptic message of "The Second Coming" (November 1920 The Dial), the two-hundredth poem in his official canon, which has ever since its publication been very frequently quoted for the proleptic intensity of its vision of a dark future (see End of the World; Religion). [JC]
see also: Equilibrium.
William Butler Yeats
born Sandymount, near Dublin, Ireland: 13 June 1865
died Roquebrune, France: 28 January 1939
works (highly selected)
works as editor
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