Winter 1964 • Vol. XXVI No. 1 NonfictionJanuary 1, 1964 |

Yeats without Analogue

When we think of Yeats's mind in concentration, brooding upon silence, as he said, "like a long-legged fly upon a stream," we may well hesitate to clatter in armed with our newfangled muskets—our readers' guides and commentaries, our iconographies and identities—and to aim them at that noble quarry. The danger was brought home to me the other day when the editor of a continental encyclopedia invited me to write an article about Yeats. Being understandably fearful of American caprices, he supplied me with detailed instructions on how to proceed. I should be sure to show Yeats as a late Pre-Raphaelite, as a member of the Rhymers' Club and of the Savoy group, as a symbolist in the school of Mallarmé, as a leader in the revival of William Blake, as a participant in the Celtic Renaissance. I should make clear that he was a friend of Oscar Wilde, of Madame Blavatsky, of Lady Gregory, of the magician Macgregor Mathers, of Ezra Pound. I should demonstrate the effect upon Yeats of other

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