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Extended Audio Sample W. B. Yeats: Selected Poems Audiobook, by William Butler Yeats Click for printable size audiobook cover
4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 4.00 (20 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: William Butler Yeats Narrator: William Sutherland Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: April 2011 ISBN: 9781455174935
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William Butler Yeats, the first Irishman to win the Nobel Prize for Literature, is not only one of the greatest poets of the twentieth century but one of the most widely read. The landscape, myths, legends, and folklore of his homeland lie at the heart of his poetic imagination, and the unique musicality of Ireland adds to the richness of his verse. But the themes of his poetry are universal and timeless: the conflict between life and death, love and hate, and the meaning of man’s existence in an imperfect world.

This collection includes such favorites as “The Lake Isle of Innisfree” and “When You Are Old,” as well as two of his longer narrative works, “The Old Age of Queen Maeve” and “Baile and Aillinn.” It traces the poet’s artistry from his early days as a dreamy, late-romantic poet into one of the most individual and visionary voices of twentieth-century verse.

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Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Shelley | 2/17/2014

    " Heaney's introduction is informative and educational, and his selection of Yeats' poetry is comprehensive. There were some poems I was surprised didn't make his cut, but for the whole, this is a pleasant and readable edition of Yeats' work by another one of Ireland's great poet-sons. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Joan | 2/12/2014

    " Couldn't decide how many stars to give this collection of poems. Some of them I really liked, and a few I didn't like at all. Most were good, so I gave it a 3. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Richard | 1/23/2014

    " a great overview of yeats. as someone who is under-read in poetry these were amazing especially pieces like 'nineteen hundred nineteen' and the other pieces dealing with ireland and specifically the easter rebellion. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Hannah | 1/15/2014

    " Beautiful selection of Yeats poetry with useful notes on the context, writing, and also includes poem variations. I love Yeats' dreamy, romantic language. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kathleen | 1/12/2014

    " I can't pretend I understand all the imagery and mythological references, but there are some poems like "I will arise and go to Innisfree" that I just can't get away from. Even what I don't understand is beautiful and touches a part of my soul. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ruby | 1/9/2014

    " I probably did not understand half of this, but it's beautiful nonetheless. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Angela Joyce | 12/26/2013

    " With Yeats, I'm always torn between dazzlement and feeling creeped-out. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jean Marie Angelo | 12/2/2013

    " Read this years ago as part of a lit class. Just remembered tonight. What would the fate of literature have been had Maude Gunn loved Yeats? "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Leslie | 11/24/2013

    " Beautiful poetry. The focus is largely on Irish history, but I think behind that is a genuine search for what is most important in life. Though I appreciated the beautiful language and what I thought the message was, I still felt like much of it went over my head. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Joyce | 11/1/2013

    " This collection of Yeats' poetry, stopping at the year 1914, omits some of his major works. The title should clarify the limitation of years since he really reached his peak as a poet after WWI "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Silverwolf | 10/20/2013

    " One of my favourite English poets! Hats down one of the best there is! This cannot have less than 5 stars in my book. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Willa Grant | 8/30/2013

    " The first poem I learned by heart & my favorite of all times is by this poet. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 TeacherMrLoria | 7/20/2013

    " He wished for the Cloths of Heaven. The Man who Dreamed of Faeryland. No Second Troy. Wild Swams at Coole. Meditations in Time of Civil War "only an aching heart, conceives a changless work of art." What Then? "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sara | 7/30/2012

    " If you like Yeats, this book has his best work. If you like poetry but aren't familiar with Yeats, I highly recommend this book. He is an amazing poet. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Abby | 6/18/2012

    " yeats and his wonderful magical dreamy poems never fail to pull me out of my surroundings. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Heidi | 11/7/2011

    " My grandma took me to Yeats' house in Ireland when I was 15, and I've been in love with his poetry ever since. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Anie | 10/7/2011

    " I absolutely love Yeats, and this collection has a number of his best poems. So enjoyable. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 PastAllReason | 8/23/2010

    " I adore Yeats poetry. This is a nicely bound and presented collection of Yeats' earlier work. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Mrs. Crane | 7/16/2010

    " I enjoyed reading it ok. I'm glad I experienced Yeats. Not my style, it's mostly the rhythm of all poetry I enjoy. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Heidi | 9/23/2007

    " My grandma took me to Yeats' house in Ireland when I was 15, and I've been in love with his poetry ever since. "

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About the Author

William Butler Yeats (1865–1939) was an Irish poet and dramatist who was born and educated in Dublin. He is generally considered one of the twentieth century’s key English language poets. In 1923 he was awarded a Nobel Prize in Literature for “inspired poetry, which in a highly artistic form gives expression to the spirit of a whole nation.” He was the first Irishman so honored.