William Butler Yeats

William Butler Yeats (/ˈjeɪts/; 13 June 1865 – 28 January 1939) was an Irish poet and one of the foremost figures of 20th-century literature. A pillar of both the Irish and British literary establishments, in his later years he served as an Irish Senator for two terms. Yeats was a driving force behind the Irish Literary Revival and, along with Lady Gregory, Edward Martyn, and others, founded the Abbey Theatre, where he served as its chief during its early years. In 1923, he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature as the first Irishman so honoured for what the Nobel Committee described as "inspired poetry, which in a highly artistic form gives expression to the spirit of a whole nation". Yeats is considered to be 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 (193... More

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William Butler Yeats Quotes

William Butler Yeats #Age

I am of a healthy long lived race, and our minds improve with age.
William Butler Yeats #Alone

The light of lights looks always on the motive, not the deed, the shadow of shadows on the deed alone.
William Butler Yeats #Anger

One should not lose one's temper unless one is certain of getting more and more angry to the end.
William Butler Yeats #Best

The best lack all conviction, while the worst are full of passionate intensity.
William Butler Yeats #Best

Choose your companions from the best Who draws a bucket with the rest soon topples down the hill.
William Butler Yeats #Business

The only business of the head in the world is to bow a ceaseless obeisance to the heart.
William Butler Yeats #Courage #History

Why should we honour those that die upon the field of battle? A man may show as reckless a courage in entering into the abyss of himself.
William Butler Yeats #Death

I balanced all, brought all to mind, the years to come seemed waste of breath, a waste of breath the years behind, in balance with this life, this death.
William Butler Yeats #Design #Wisdom

Books are but waste paper unless we spend in action the wisdom we get from thought - asleep. When we are weary of the living, we may repair to the dead, who have nothing of peevishness, pride, or design in their conversation.
William Butler Yeats #Dreams

But I, being poor, have only my dreams I have spread my dreams under your feet Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.
William Butler Yeats #Dreams

Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.
William Butler Yeats #Education

Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire.
William Butler Yeats #Dreams

In dreams begins responsibility.
William Butler Yeats #Friendship

Think where man's glory most begins and ends, and say my glory was I had such friends.
William Butler Yeats #Great

Out of Ireland have we come, great hatred, little room, maimed us at the start. I carry from my mother's womb a fanatic heart.
William Butler Yeats #Great

The creations of a great writer are little more than the moods and passions of his own heart, given surnames and Christian names, and sent to walk the earth.
William Butler Yeats #Men

I heard the old, old, men say 'all that's beautiful drifts away, like the waters.'
William Butler Yeats #Men

I have known more men destroyed by the desire to have wife and child and to keep them in comfort than I have seen destroyed by drink and harlots.
William Butler Yeats #Men

The worst thing about some men is that when they are not drunk they are sober.
William Butler Yeats #Alone #History

You that would judge me, do not judge alone this book or that, come to this hallowed place where my friends' portraits hang and look thereon Ireland's history in their lineaments trace think where man's glory most begins and ends and say my glory was I had such friends.
William Butler Yeats #Poetry

We make out of the quarrel with others, rhetoric, but of the quarrel with ourselves, poetry.
William Butler Yeats #Romantic #Truth

Wine comes in at the mouth And love comes in at the eye That's all we shall know for truth Before we grow old and die.
William Butler Yeats #Truth

Man can embody truth but he cannot know it.
William Butler Yeats #Women

To be born woman is to know - although they do not speak of it at school - women must labor to be beautiful.
William Butler Yeats #Best #Imagination

People who lean on logic and philosophy and rational exposition end by starving the best part of the mind.