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W.B. Yeats and the Muses - Oxford Scholarship Online
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W.B. Yeats and the Muses

Joseph M. Hassett


This book explores how nine fascinating women inspired some of W.B. Yeats's most memorable poetry. Yeats's beliefs about poetic inspiration were remarkably akin to the Greek notion that a great poet is inspired and possessed by the feminine voices of the Muses, daughters of all powerful Zeus and Mnemosyne, goddess of memory. Influenced by the Pre‐Raphaelite idea of woman as ‘romantic and mysterious, still the priestess of her shrine,’ Yeats found his Muses in living women. The book examines the poetry inspired by these women in the context of the two principal Muse traditions, the Gnostic Wisd ... More

Keywords: W.B. Yeats, Muse, poetic inspiration, courtly love, troubadours, wisdom tradition, White goddess

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2010 Print ISBN-13: 9780199582907
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2010 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199582907.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Joseph M. Hassett, author
independent scholar