William Butler Yeats (1865-1939) was a poet, dramatist, author and intellectual renowned as one of the greatest English-literature poets of all time. Born to a wealthy Anglo-Irish Protestant family in Dublin, Yeats was a leading figure in the Irish literary revival movement, founding the Irish Literary Theatre and was generally believed to have been strongly sympathetic to nationalism, however his legacy among Irish nationalism is rather controversial; his bitter feud with Major John MacBride stemming from his infatuation with Maud Gonne and the intense criticism he often suffered from the Irish-Ireland wing of the movement made him somewhat polarising. Following the Easter Rising, he would pen arguably his most famous poem, “Easter 1916”. He would serve as a Senator for the new Irish Free State, and in his later years was a follower of the fascist Blueshirt movement.
Ireland and the Arts (1903)
Easter, 1916 (1916)