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Writing Modern Ireland$
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Catherine E Paul

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780989082693

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: September 2016

DOI: 10.5949/liverpool/9780989082693.001.0001

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date: 18 October 2018

A Satyric Paradise: The Form of W. B. Yeats’s “News for the Delphic Oracle”

A Satyric Paradise: The Form of W. B. Yeats’s “News for the Delphic Oracle”

(p.187) A Satyric Paradise: The Form of W. B. Yeats’s “News for the Delphic Oracle”
Writing Modern Ireland

Michael Cade-Stewart

Liverpool University Press

This essay examines the poetic forms of W. B. Yeats's “The Statues” and “News for the Delphic Oracle” as well as these poems' place in Yeats's Last Poems and Two Plays. “The Statues” is a tragic poem, whereas “News for the Delphic Oracle” may be regarded as performing the role of a satyr play in Classical Greek tragedy. The comedy of “News,” like the satyr plays, consists of poking fun at “The Statues,” thereby providing comic relief. This essay considers the shift from “stately ottava rima” and an expression of “Yeats's eugenic convictions” in “The Statues” to a modern imitation of a classical satyr play in “News.” It challenges the assumption of the latter poem's seeming disorder elsewhere in the critical literature and insists on the importance of a dialogue between the two poems.

Keywords:   poems, W. B. Yeats, The Statues, News for the Delphic Oracle, Last Poems and Two Plays, satyr plays, tragedy, ottava rima, comedy

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