The Secret Rose
William Butler Yeats
Originally published in 1897, "The Secret Rose" offers, in chronological sequence, a glimpse of all William Butler Yeats' styles-beginning with his youthful romantic idealism and ending with his more outspoken, sardonic treatment of sexuality. William Butler Yeats was an Irish poet and dramatist, and one of the foremost figures of 20th century literature. A pillar of both the Irish and British literary establishments, in his later years Yeats served as an Irish Senator for two terms. He was a driving force behind the Irish Literary Revival, and along with Lady Gregory and Edward Martyn founded the Abbey Theatre, serving as its chief during its early years. In 1923 he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature for what the Nobel Committee described as "inspired poetry, which in a highly artistic form gives expression to the spirit of a whole nation." He was the first Irishman so honoured. Yeats is generally considered one of the few writers who completed their greatest works after being awarded the Nobel Prize; such works include "The Tower" (1928) and "The Winding Stair and Other Poems" (1929).