Commentary on the development of W.B. Yeats as a poet: early to middle years

John Perey


I have chosen to follow the more comprehensive aspects of Yeats' poetic development, namely, changes of general intent or purpose in writing and changes in method of evoking a response from the reader. Biographical material has been included only when it is requisite to explain the develepment of Yeats as a poet. Because of this limitation, I have omitted from discussions specific personal sources for individual poems, except where mention of these sources could help to make a point clear. Since it is my desire to follow the broad changes in Yeats' poetry, I have structured the chapters in this commentary accordingly. Each chapter is devoted to a period of writing which seems to be unified by a single general intent or method. Within each chapter I have tried to show how Yeats succeeded in his intents and methods, and how one period in the poet's development naturally evolved into, and was the basis for the next.