W.B. Yeats was Ireland’s greatest poet, and perhaps the greatest twentieth-century poet of the English language. His poetry arose from an intense spiritual life, which took in Irish folklore, Indian philosophy, Theosophy, ritual magic, astrology, the Tarot, spiritualism, psychic research and Zen Buddhism, as well as philosophical reading. Yeats wrote, ‘The mystical life is the centre of all that I do & all that I think & all that I write’. And he interpreted ‘the mystical life’ in the widest possible terms.
We shall follow his quest through a number of profound and beautiful poems written at different stages of his life.
Grevel Lindop is a poet, biographer and travel writer. He is a Buddhist meditation teacher, chairs the Temenos Academy (founded by Kathleen Raine), and is working on a spiritual biography of WB Yeats, to be published by Oxford University Press.