Posts Tagged: w.b. yeats

Maud Gonne

Saturday History Lesson: The Unrequited Yeats


Certain writers cast shadows of incredible length and darkness, and Yeats is one of them. His poetry has a way of crowding out the sun. As a teenager I fell for that poem of his that begins, “When you are old and grey and full of sleep,” and reminds its object that “one man loved the pilgrim soul in you.” It was the most romantic thing I’d ever read; how anyone could refuse this man was a mystery to me.