By A. Norman Jeffares
Booklet: Poetry - W.B. Yeats Coomentary
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Additional resources for A Commentary on the Collected Poems of W. B. Yeats
P. Sinnett (184o-I921), The Occult World (1881) and Esoteric Buddhism (1883), and then read a paper on Theosophy at the Dublin Hermetic Society in 1885, which Yeats heard. Johnston was indignant when Madame Blavatsky was denounced as a charlatan before the Society for Psychical Research in London in 1 885, and he founded 6 Crosswqys 13-14 a Dublin Lodge in 1886. Yeats and George Russell refused to join, but when Yeats's family moved to London in May 1887 Yeats was impressed by Madame Blavatsky and joined the London Lodge.
Its original title was 'An Old Song Re-sung' and Yeats's footnote explained that 'This is an attempt to reconstruct an old song from three lines imperfectly remembered by an old peasant woman in the village of Ballysodare, Sligo, who often sings them to herself' (P (I895)). He later called it 'an extension of three lines sung by an old woman at Ballisodare' and a letter to Katharine Tynan, written after 6 September I888, suggests that the lines were 'Old Irish verse' (L 86). A letter to Dorothy Wellesley of z 5 September I 9 35 commented that the Irish Free State army marched to a tune called 'Down by the Salley Garden' without knowing that the march was 'first published with words of mine, words that are now folklore' (DWL 29).
Maud Gonne has seen a vision of a litde temple of the heroes which she proposes to build somewhere in Ireland when '98 is over [celebrations to commemorate Wolfe Tone and the Rebellion of 1798] and to make the centre of our mystical and literary movements. (L 295) The Rose also symbolises Maud Gonne, who told the present editor that Yeats intended to allude to her by the symbol, and through her to Ireland. In 'The Rose upon the Rood of Time' the Rose is eternal beauty and something of its meaning is indicated in his remark that Timon of Athens and Oeopatra sorrow for all men's fate.
A Commentary on the Collected Poems of W. B. Yeats by A. Norman Jeffares