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W. B. Yeats's A VisionExplications and Contexts$
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Neil Mann, Matthew Gibson, and Claire Nally

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780983533924

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: September 2015

DOI: 10.5949/liverpool/9780983533924.001.0001

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“Metaphors for Poetry”

“Metaphors for Poetry”

Concerning the Poems of A Vision and Certain Plays for Dancers

(p.217) “Metaphors for Poetry”
W. B. Yeats's A Vision

Wayne K. Chapman

Liverpool University Press

This essay examines the relationship between A Vision and W. B. Yeats’s poems and plays, as well as a number of sources of creative inspiration, both literary and cosmographic. While writing A Vision A, Yeats also worked extensively on his “plays for dancers,” including an unfinished fifth play, titled here “Guardians of the Tower and Stream.” Similarly later poems and plays, many written in the same notebooks as the drafts for A Vision B, often share important genetic elements. Beyond the poems actually included in the versions of A Vision, the essay traces a wide range of connections including considerations of the “plays for dancers,” “The Double Vision of Michael Robartes,” the sequences “A Man Young and Old” and “A Woman Young and Old,” Milton’s “Il Penseroso” and The Doctrine and Discipline of Divorce, Chaucer’s Treatise on the Astrolabe, Donne’s “Nocturnall Upon S. Lucies Day,” Blake’s “The Mental Traveller,” and Macrobius’s commentary on Cicero’s Somnium Scipionis.

Keywords:   A Vision, plays for dancers, Guardians of the Tower and Stream, Blake, Donne, Chaucer, Macrobius, Milton, W B Yeats

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