By Richard Fein
One of the great things about Yeats is his need to engage his contradictions,
the way an assumption or assertion or viewpoint doubles back on itself
and his poem moves beyond attitude or stance or cause or occult phase or
enthralled by this intense need of his to recoil on himself and grow
by taking on new themes or revisiting old ones or exploiting sudden disruptions.
He is like an animal sniffing its own tracks in order to further a trail,
and out of this urgent need to question his positions, to look at who
he has been or what he has believed,
he shows how a person can think through the problem of himself as he makes
And out of his restlessness, the conditions of his life, Yeats created
not only a seeker or a sufferer or someone who honors his defeat, his effort,
but that rare being in modern poetry – a soul.
Copyright © 2021 by Richard Fein.