'A new sword on an old anvil': W.B.Yeats, Robert Graves and the Anglo-Irish Tradition

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Throughout his writing life, Robert Graves was consistently and often publicly hostile to the work of W.B. Yeats, whilst still also owing a considerable debt to the older poet (who he never met). This essay explores Graves' complex responses to Yeats, arguing that his antagonism may be understood in the light of his own Anglo-Irish background, and is implicated in his relations with his father, Alfred Perceval Graves, as well as his experience of the First World War. Probing the suggestiveness of Graves's claim in 1959 that his poems 'remain true to the Anglo-Irish poetic tradition into which I was born', it traces the relation between Yeats and Graves through correspondence, critical writings, and through a comparative reading of Yeats's A Vision and Graves's The White Goddess, and reveals underlying similarities in their critical and mythological thinking in spite of Graves's public disavowal of the Yeatsian aesthetic.

LanguageEnglish
Pages1-24
Number of pages24
JournalIrish University Review
Volume41
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2011

Fingerprint

Sword
Anvil
W. B. Yeats
Poem
Goddess
Debt
Poetic Tradition
Disavowal
Life-writing
Antagonism
Aesthetics
Poet

Cite this

@article{1fb007b3d8ac4b94a11f87519cfe61e5,
title = "'A new sword on an old anvil': W.B.Yeats, Robert Graves and the Anglo-Irish Tradition",
abstract = "Throughout his writing life, Robert Graves was consistently and often publicly hostile to the work of W.B. Yeats, whilst still also owing a considerable debt to the older poet (who he never met). This essay explores Graves' complex responses to Yeats, arguing that his antagonism may be understood in the light of his own Anglo-Irish background, and is implicated in his relations with his father, Alfred Perceval Graves, as well as his experience of the First World War. Probing the suggestiveness of Graves's claim in 1959 that his poems 'remain true to the Anglo-Irish poetic tradition into which I was born', it traces the relation between Yeats and Graves through correspondence, critical writings, and through a comparative reading of Yeats's A Vision and Graves's The White Goddess, and reveals underlying similarities in their critical and mythological thinking in spite of Graves's public disavowal of the Yeatsian aesthetic.",
author = "Fran Brearton",
year = "2011",
language = "English",
volume = "41",
pages = "1--24",
journal = "Irish University Review",
issn = "0021-1427",
publisher = "Edinburgh University Press",
number = "2",

}

'A new sword on an old anvil': W.B.Yeats, Robert Graves and the Anglo-Irish Tradition. / Brearton, Fran.

In: Irish University Review, Vol. 41, No. 2, 2011, p. 1-24.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

TY - JOUR

T1 - 'A new sword on an old anvil': W.B.Yeats, Robert Graves and the Anglo-Irish Tradition

AU - Brearton, Fran

PY - 2011

Y1 - 2011

N2 - Throughout his writing life, Robert Graves was consistently and often publicly hostile to the work of W.B. Yeats, whilst still also owing a considerable debt to the older poet (who he never met). This essay explores Graves' complex responses to Yeats, arguing that his antagonism may be understood in the light of his own Anglo-Irish background, and is implicated in his relations with his father, Alfred Perceval Graves, as well as his experience of the First World War. Probing the suggestiveness of Graves's claim in 1959 that his poems 'remain true to the Anglo-Irish poetic tradition into which I was born', it traces the relation between Yeats and Graves through correspondence, critical writings, and through a comparative reading of Yeats's A Vision and Graves's The White Goddess, and reveals underlying similarities in their critical and mythological thinking in spite of Graves's public disavowal of the Yeatsian aesthetic.

AB - Throughout his writing life, Robert Graves was consistently and often publicly hostile to the work of W.B. Yeats, whilst still also owing a considerable debt to the older poet (who he never met). This essay explores Graves' complex responses to Yeats, arguing that his antagonism may be understood in the light of his own Anglo-Irish background, and is implicated in his relations with his father, Alfred Perceval Graves, as well as his experience of the First World War. Probing the suggestiveness of Graves's claim in 1959 that his poems 'remain true to the Anglo-Irish poetic tradition into which I was born', it traces the relation between Yeats and Graves through correspondence, critical writings, and through a comparative reading of Yeats's A Vision and Graves's The White Goddess, and reveals underlying similarities in their critical and mythological thinking in spite of Graves's public disavowal of the Yeatsian aesthetic.

M3 - Article

VL - 41

SP - 1

EP - 24

JO - Irish University Review

T2 - Irish University Review

JF - Irish University Review

SN - 0021-1427

IS - 2

ER -