William Butler Yeats
EXCERPT: "This book contains all poetry not in dramatic form that I have written between my seven-and-twentieth year and the year 1921. I have included one long poem in dramatic form, of which a much shortened version, intended for stage representation, is in my book of plays. I have left out nearly all the long notes which seemed necessary before the work of various writers, but especially of my friend Lady Gregory, had made the circumstantial origins of my verse, in ancient legend or in the legends of the country side, familiar to readers of poetry. THOOR BALLYLEE, May 1922." William Butler Yeats (1865 – 1939) was an Irish poet and one of the foremost figures of 20th-century literature. A pillar of the Irish literary establishment, he helped to found the Abbey Theatre, and in his later years served two terms as a Senator of the Irish Free State. He was a driving force behind the Irish Literary Revival along with Lady Gregory, Edward Martyn and others. William Butler Yeats is widely considered to be one of the greatest poets of the 20th century.