W.B. Yeats quotes
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W.B. Yeats Quotes



Quotes by W.B. Yeats - (89 quotes)

Jack B. Yeats - From the Art category:

-interview with Eamonn Andrews...
I dislike the word art as to painting. There is only one art and that is the art of living. Painting is an occupation that's in that art, and that occupation is the freest of all the occupations of living. (Jack B. Yeats)

Jack B. Yeats - From the Modernism category:

- b.1871 d.1957...
Most painting now is suffering from inbreeding; but there are signs that some of the painter boys are realizing that life is still here tumbling about. (Jack B. Yeats)

Jack B. Yeats - From the Painting category:

-on paintings...
There is no alphabet, no grammar. No rules whatever. Many hopeful sportsmen have tried to invent rules and have always failed. Any person or group of persons who try to live life with rules do a disservice to this occupation of living. They forget that painting is tactics and not strategy. It is carried out in the face of the enemy. (Jack B. Yeats)

Jack B. Yeats - From the Suffering category:

Personality is born out of pain. It is the fire shut up in the flint. (Jack B. Yeats)

William Butler Yeats - From the Aging category:

I have drunk ale from the Country of the Young / And weep because I know all things now. (William Butler Yeats)

William Butler Yeats - From the Aging category:

When you are old and gray and full of sleep, and nodding by the fire, take down this book and slowly read, and dream of the soft look your eyes had once, and of their shadows deep. (William Butler Yeats)

William Butler Yeats - From the Artists category:

We can make our minds so like still water that beings gather about us that they may see, it may be, their own images, and so live for a moment with a clearer, perhaps even with a fiercer life because of our quiet. (William Butler Yeats)

William Butler Yeats - From the Belief category:

It is so many years before one can believe enough in what one feels even to know what the feeling is. (William Butler Yeats)

William Butler Yeats - From the Books category:

Books are but waste paper unless we spend in action the wisdom we get from thought - asleep. When we are weary of the living, we may repair to the dead, who have nothing of peevishness, pride, or design in their conversation. (William Butler Yeats)

William Butler Yeats - From the Brother/Sisterhood category:

There are no strangers here; Only friends you haven't yet met. (William Butler Yeats)

William Butler Yeats - From the Change category:

The labor of the alchemists, who were called artist in their day, is a befitting comparison for a deliberate change of style. (William Butler Yeats)

William Butler Yeats - From the Choices category:

The intellect of man is forced to choose / Perfection of the life, or of the work... (William Butler Yeats)

William Butler Yeats - From the Contemplation category:

Ecstasy is from the contemplation of things vaster than the individual and imperfectly seen perhaps, by all those that still live. (William Butler Yeats)

William Butler Yeats - From the Copying category:

The poet W. B. Yeats, when asked to say something about bad poets who made a living by parasitizing him, wrote the splendid line, 'Was there ever dog that praised his fleas?' (William Butler Yeats)

William Butler Yeats - From the Courage category:

A man shows reckless courage in entering into the abyss of himself. (William Butler Yeats)

William Butler Yeats - From the Creativity category:

I bring you with reverent hands / The books of my numberless dreams. (William Butler Yeats)

William Butler Yeats - From the Criticism category:

I have spread my dreams beneath your feet. Tread softly because you tread on my dreams. (William Butler Yeats)

William Butler Yeats - From the Critics category:

I hate journalists. There is nothing in them but tittering jeering emptiness... The shallowest people on the ridge of the earth. (William Butler Yeats)

William Butler Yeats - From the Danger category:

- The Adoration of The Magi...
I have grown to believe that there is no dangerous idea, which does not become less dangerous when written out in sincere and careful English. (William Butler Yeats)

William Butler Yeats - From the Desire category:

- The Land of Heart's Desire, 1894...
Land of Heart's Desire, / Where beauty has no ebb, decay no flood, / But joy is wisdom, time an endless song. (William Butler Yeats)

William Butler Yeats - From the Difficulty category:

The fascination of what's difficult / Has dried the sap out of my veins, and rent / Spontaneous joy and natural content / Out of my heart. (William Butler Yeats)

William Butler Yeats - From the Dreams category:

In dreams begins responsibility. (William Butler Yeats)

William Butler Yeats - From the Dreams category:

Take, if you must, this little bag of dreams, / Unloose the cord, and they will wrap you 'round. (William Butler Yeats)

William Butler Yeats - From the Drunkenness category:

The worst thing about some men is that when they are not drunk they are sober. (William Butler Yeats)

William Butler Yeats - From the Earth category:

Everything exists, everything is true and the earth is just a bit of dust beneath our feet. (William Butler Yeats)

William Butler Yeats - From the Editing category:

The friends that have it I do wrong / Whenever I remake a song / Should know what issue is at stake, / It is myself that I remake. (William Butler Yeats)

William Butler Yeats - From the Emotion category:

The only business of the head in the world is to bow a ceaseless obeisance to the heart. (William Butler Yeats)

William Butler Yeats - From the Emotion category:

Those masterful images because complete / Grew in pure mind, but out of what began? / A mound of refuse or the sweepings of a street... Now that my ladder's gone, / I must lie down where all my ladders start, / In the foul rag-and-bone shop of the heart. (William Butler Yeats)

William Butler Yeats - From the Expectation category:

- The Tower, 1928...
Never had I more / Excited, passionate, fantastical / Imagination, nor an ear and eye / That more expected the impossible. (William Butler Yeats)

William Butler Yeats - From the Fantasy category:

Come Fairies, take me out of this dull world, for I would ride with you upon the wind and dance upon the mountains like a flame! (William Butler Yeats)

William Butler Yeats - From the Fire category:

Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire. (William Butler Yeats)

William Butler Yeats - From the Fire category:

I went out to the hazelwood because a fire was in my head. (William Butler Yeats)

William Butler Yeats - From the Friendship category:

Think where man's glory most begins and ends, and say my glory was I had such friends. (William Butler Yeats)

William Butler Yeats - From the Gratitude category:

Be secret and exult, / Because of all things known / That is most difficult. (William Butler Yeats)

William Butler Yeats - From the Greatness category:

The creations of a great writer are little more than the moods and passions of his own heart, given surnames and Christian names, and sent to walk the earth. (William Butler Yeats)

William Butler Yeats - From the Happiness category:

Happiness is neither virtue nor pleasure nor this thing nor that but simply growth, / We are happy when we are growing. (William Butler Yeats)

William Butler Yeats - From the Humanity category:

I think you can leave the arts, superior or inferior, to the conscience of mankind. (William Butler Yeats)

William Butler Yeats - From the Imagination category:

The living can assist the imagination of the dead... (William Butler Yeats)

William Butler Yeats - From the Immortality category:

The soul of man is of the imperishable substance of the stars! (William Butler Yeats)

William Butler Yeats - From the Innocence category:

The innocent and the beautiful have no enemy but time. (William Butler Yeats)

William Butler Yeats - From the Intellect category:

People who lean on logic and philosophy and rational exposition end by starving the best part of the mind. (William Butler Yeats)

William Butler Yeats - From the Joy category:

Being Irish, he had an abiding sense of tragedy, which sustained him through temporary periods of joy. (William Butler Yeats)

William Butler Yeats - From the Joy category:

Joy is of the will which labours, which overcomes obstacles, which knows triumph. (William Butler Yeats)

William Butler Yeats - From the Keys category:

We are closed in, and the key is turned / On our uncertainty... (William Butler Yeats)

William Butler Yeats - From the Knowledge category:

What do we know but that we face one another in this place? (William Butler Yeats)

William Butler Yeats - From the Life category:

Life is a long preparation for something that never happens. (William Butler Yeats)

William Butler Yeats - From the Life category:

Life moves out of a red flare of dreams / Into a common light of common hours, / Until old age bring the red flare again. (William Butler Yeats)

William Butler Yeats - From the Love category:

Everything that man esteems / Endures a moment or a day. / Love's pleasure drives his love away, / The painter's brush consumes his dreams. (William Butler Yeats)

William Butler Yeats - From the Masters category:

All the great masters have understood that there cannot be great art without the little limited life of the fable, which is always better the simpler it is, and the rich, far-wandering, many-imaged life of the half-seen world beyond it. (William Butler Yeats)

William Butler Yeats - From the Meditation category:

A man in his own secret meditation / Is lost amid the labyrinth that he has made / In art or politics. (William Butler Yeats)

William Butler Yeats - From the Miracles category:

Many ingenious lovely things are gone / That seemed sheer miracle to the multitude... (William Butler Yeats)

William Butler Yeats - From the Mirrors category:

We have fallen in the dreams the ever-living / Breathe on the tarnished mirror of the world, / And then smooth out with ivory hands and sigh. (William Butler Yeats)

William Butler Yeats - From the Muse category:

It seems that I must bid the Muse to pack, / Choose Plato and Plotinus for a friend / Until imagination, ear and eye, / Can be content with argument and deal / In abstract things; or be derided by / A sort of battered kettle at the heel. (William Butler Yeats)

William Butler Yeats - From the Mysteries category:

The mystical life is at the centre of all that I do and all that I think and all that I write. (William Butler Yeats)

William Butler Yeats - From the Patience category:

Time can but make it easier to be wise / Though now it seems impossible, and so / All that you need is patience. (William Butler Yeats)

William Butler Yeats - From the Peace category:

And I will find some peace there, for peace comes dropping slow, / Dropping from the veils of the morning to where the cricket sings... (William Butler Yeats)

William Butler Yeats - From the Perfection category:

All art is in the last analysis an endeavor to condense as out of the flying vapor of the world an image of human perfection, and for its own and not for the art's sake. (William Butler Yeats)

William Butler Yeats - From the Performance category:

O body swayed to music, / O brightening glance, / How can we know the dancer from the dance? (William Butler Yeats)

William Butler Yeats - From the Poetry category:

Irish poets, learn your trade, sing whatever is well made, scorn the sort now growing up all out of shape from toe to top. (William Butler Yeats)

William Butler Yeats - From the Poetry category:

What can be explained is not poetry. (William Butler Yeats)

William Butler Yeats - From the Prayer category:

I pray - for word is out / And prayer comes round again / That I may seem, though I die old, / A foolish, passionate man. (William Butler Yeats)

William Butler Yeats - From the Procrastination category:

Do not wait to strike till the iron is hot; but make it hot by striking. (William Butler Yeats)

William Butler Yeats - From the Questions category:

Bid imagination run / Much on the Great Questioner; / What He can question, what if questioned I / Can with a fitting confidence reply. (William Butler Yeats)

William Butler Yeats - From the Quotations category:

When they had finished they made me take notes of whatever conversation they had quoted, so that I might have the exact words, and got up to go... (William Butler Yeats)

William Butler Yeats - From the Religion category:

Once you attempt legislation upon religious grounds, you open the way for every kind of intolerance and religious persecution. (William Butler Yeats)

William Butler Yeats - From the Sacrifice category:

Too long a sacrifice can make a stone of the heart. O when may it suffice? (William Butler Yeats)

William Butler Yeats - From the Searching category:

I'm looking for the face I had, before the world was made... (William Butler Yeats)

William Butler Yeats - From the Senses category:

The world is full of magic things patiently waiting for our senses to grow sharper. (William Butler Yeats)

William Butler Yeats - From the Senses category:

We have lit upon the gentle, sensitive mind / And lost the old nonchalance of the hand; / Whether we have chosen chisel, pen or brush, / We are but critics, or but half create, / Timid, entangled, empty and abashed, / Lacking the countenance of our friends. (William Butler Yeats)

William Butler Yeats - From the Silence category:

Like a long-legged fly upon the stream / His mind moves upon silence. (William Butler Yeats)

William Butler Yeats - From the Solitude category:

I have found nothing half so good / As my long-planned half solitude, / Where I can sit up half the night / With some friend that has the wit... (William Butler Yeats)

William Butler Yeats - From the Standards category:

The best lack all conviction, while the worst are full of passionate intensity. (William Butler Yeats)

William Butler Yeats - From the Taste category:

Designs in connection with postage stamps and coinage may be described, I think, as the silent ambassadors on national taste. (William Butler Yeats)

William Butler Yeats - From the Theme category:

What can I but enumerate old themes? (William Butler Yeats)

William Butler Yeats - From the Thought category:

We only believe in those thoughts which have been conceived not in the brain but in the whole body. (William Butler Yeats)

William Butler Yeats - From the Tones category:

Before me floats an image, man or shade, / Shade more than man, more image than a shade... (William Butler Yeats)

William Butler Yeats - From the Tradition category:

Supreme art is a traditional statement of certain heroic and religious truth, passed on from age to age, modified by individual genius, but never abandoned. (William Butler Yeats)

William Butler Yeats - From the Truth category:

We taste and feel and see the truth. We do not reason ourselves into it. (William Butler Yeats)

William Butler Yeats - From the Truth category:

Wine comes in at the mouth / And love comes in at the eye; / That's all we shall know for truth / Before we grow old and die. (William Butler Yeats)

William Butler Yeats - From the Understanding category:

My wretched dragon is perplexed. (William Butler Yeats)

William Butler Yeats - From the Universe category:

There is another world, but it is in this one. (William Butler Yeats)

William Butler Yeats - From the Windows category:

The true faith discovered was / When painted panel, statuary. / Glass-mosaic, window-glass, / Amended what was told awry / By some peasant gospeller. (William Butler Yeats)

William Butler Yeats - From the Winning category:

I Sing what was lost and dread what was won, / I walk in a battle fought over again... (William Butler Yeats)

William Butler Yeats - From the Wisdom category:

Think like a wise man but communicate in the language of the people. (William Butler Yeats)

William Butler Yeats - From the Words category:

...rhetoric is will doing the work of imagination. (William Butler Yeats)

William Butler Yeats - From the Words category:

Words are always getting conventionalized to some secondary meaning. It is one of the works of poetry to take the truants in custody and bring them back to their right senses. (William Butler Yeats)

William Butler Yeats - From the Work category:

Poet and sculptor, do the work, / Nor let the modish painter shirk (William Butler Yeats)

William Butler Yeats - From the Work category:

A line will take us hours maybe; / Yet if it does not seem a moment's thought, / Our stitching and unstitching has been naught... Better go down upon your marrow-bones / And scrub a kitchen pavement, or break stones... For to articulate sweet sounds together / Is to work harder than all these, and yet / Be thought an idler by the noisy set... (William Butler Yeats)

William Butler Yeats - From the Writing category:

Accursed who brings to light of day the writings I have cast away. (William Butler Yeats)