Transcription Principles and Procedures

For the sake of consistency, I have adhered to the transcription principles and procedures set forth in the volumes of the Cornell Yeats, most of which I have quoted, some in abbreviated form, below:

In rendering Yeats's words, I have followed his actual spelling when it is clear, even if it is incorrect or if he finished only part of a word.  In cases where Yeats's actual spelling is difficult or impossible to determine, the standard spelling is given.  Where the exact spelling of a character's name is unclear, or where it is impossible to determine if Yeats wrote the entire name, I have given the standard spelling used elsewhere in the manuscript.

Where the first letter of a word is clearly either capitalized or lower-cased, I have transcribed accordingly; where the letter is ambiguous, I have standardized according to normal practice.

Symbols for illegible words and editorial conjecture:

[ ? ] 
a totally illegible word, with the space between brackets corresponding approximately to the length of the word
a partially illegible word
[ ? ? ? ] 
several totally illegible words, with the number of question marks corresponding to the apparent number of words
a cancelled and totally illegible word
a conjectural reading (used only when the editor feels more than ordinary uncertainty)

There are throughout the drafts certain obscure marks or blots, which may have been made accidentally.  In cases where their significance has not been determined, they are silently omitted.

Cancellation of single lines or of words within a line is indicated by a single horizontal cancellation line.  Cancellation of single lines or of words within a line is indicated by a double horizontal cancellation line where Yeats scribbled over the text.

Yeats's copyediting marks are preserved.  Caret symbols under a cancelled word meant to indicate substitution of a new word written above it have been left in place.

Yeats frequently used a mark resembling a dash but placed at the level of the bottom of the line, often where one would expect a period.  I have transcribed the mark as a line-level dash, except in cases where it is far enough above the line reasonably to be construed as a conventional dash or short enough reasonably to be construed as a period.

Problems in the transcription of words and passages are discussed in footnotes.

Although the spacing of words and lines generally approximates the originals, a degree of typographical regularization has been employed for such elements as indentations, half lines, the placement of above-the-line revisions, turnovers, stage directions, and speaker tags.

Each of Yeats's manuscript pages is recorded on a separate page of transcription.

Source: Yeats, W.B. The Early Poetry, Volume I: Mosada and The Island of Statues. Ed. George Bornstein (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1987).