The friends that have it I do wrong
Whenever I remake a song,
Should know what issue is at stake:
It is I myself that I remake.
William Butler Yeats, untitled
Nobel prize-winning Irish writer William Butler Yeats often revised and in some cases rewrote his lyrics. The brief poem above indicates not only a care for sound and quality of lyric, but the evolution of the interior life of his mind and soul. Yeats’s exploration of religious and spiritual matters drove such progressive transformations.
In a long and richly lived life (1865-1939), Yeats wove artistic techniques around and through belief systems that evolved as did his artistic work, his firmly-held beliefs about nation, his love interests, and family relationships.
By using material from the Thomas P. O’Neill, Jr. Library, this exhibit aims to trace such artistic, personal, and spiritual evolution.