Yale Alumni College Seminars

Registration is now open for Yale Alumni College seminars. “The Many Worlds of W.B. Yeats” will be offered this spring for Atlanta alumni.

COURSE: “The Many Worlds of W.B. Yeats”
PROFESSOR: Jim Flannery, ’61 M.F.A.
DATES: Wednesdays, March 7 – April 11
TIME: 7 – 8:30 p.m.
LOCATION: All Saints Episcopal Church, 634 West Peachtree Street, Atlanta
COST: $395
Register today >

Course Description: 

Arguably the greatest poet of the modern age, W.B. Yeats (1865-1939) lived an extraordinarily rich and productive life as the founder and guiding light of the Irish Literary Revival and the Abbey Theatre, the National Theatre of Ireland, a nationalist whose writing and leadership inspired the Irish struggle for independence and an influential member of the Senate established in 1922 when Ireland won her freedom after 700 years of foreign rule. Yeats was also a folklorist, mythologist and lifelong student of Eastern and Western religion as well as the occult mysteries. All of these interests found an outlet in Yeats’s accomplishment as a poet, dramatist and cultural activist.

Modern Ireland, which today is recognized internationally for its remarkable achievements in literature, drama, music and film, owes an enormous debt to Yeats.  As Seamus Heaney said, “In Yeats’s work was the beginning of confidence in our own ground, in our own place, in our own speech, English or Irish.”

T.S. Eliot thought of Yeats as essential to a full understanding of the modern world: “W.B. Yeats is one of those few whose history is the history of their own time, who are part of the consciousness of an age which cannot be understood without them.”

This six-week seminar organized under the auspices of the Yale Alumni College – Atlanta will focus on a series of key themes in the life and work of Yeats. Each of the sessions will involve a discussion of assigned selections from the poetry, plays and prose writings of Yeats as well as a close analysis of one or more particularly representative works. In keeping with the highly oral and performative dimension of Yeats and Irish culture in general, a special emphasis will be placed on reading aloud and sharing together the artistry of Yeats.