To celebrate the 150th anniversary of Sandymount’s most lauded poetic son, W.B Yeats, local residents have issued an open invitation to attend their Yeats Day Party on June 13th. The event takes place in association with SAMRA and goes on from 11.30am to 12.30pm.
The event is being organised by local author and Yeats biographer, Anthony J. Jordan. The festivities will converge around the bust of Yeats and will include readings of Yeats’s works, along with songs and music.
Presentations at the bust of Yeats have been going on for several years now, initially suggested by Anthony who is a former principal of the Enable Ireland Sandymount School. The bust was actually stolen several years back, in what some believed to have been a publicity stunt.
“A few years ago the residents’ association was looking for ideas that would promote Sandymount both culturally and socially,” Jordan, above, told NewsFour. “I happened to mention that I used to bring people down to the Green on Yeats’s birthday for poetry readings and could restart it as a community event.”
The central theme of this year’s sesquicentennial will be the tumultuous love affair between Yeats and Maud Gonne. There will be readings of the private correspondence between the two figures, and the poetry readings are to be demarcated into four sections, covering each stage of the pair’s tempestuous relationship.
At the end of the official readings people are invited to perform any Yeats poem of their choosing. For further information, email mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org
W.B Yeats was born in 1865 and spent the nascent years of his young life in No. 5 Sandymount Avenue. He is often remembered for his rural poetry on account of the time he spent in Sligo. Yet, as a Dubliner, Yeats is often overlooked, despite having lived in such locations as Howth, Harold’s Cross and Merrion Square.
He was one of the central figures of the Irish Literary Revival, along with Lady Gregory and many others. As a result of his labours, Yeats became the first Irishman to be honoured with the Nobel Prize in Literature.
There is a famous story regarding Yeats’s response to his nomination for the award, when he asked the editor of the Irish Times how much the Nobel Prize could be sold for, on account of his relentlessly destitute state.
Anthony Jordan, who has also written biographies on historical figures as varied as Winston Churchill, Conor Cruise O’Brien and Arthur Griffith, spoke to NewsFour prior to the event to talk about Yeats and his extraordinary life.
“One of the main things overlooked about Yeats is his patriotism,” Jordan stated. “It really came to the fore when he agreed to become a Senator, and that was during the Irish Civil War. There were people being assassinated during that period and there were bullet marks left in his house on Merrion Square. He could have easily stayed in England where he was a person of great stature and significance, but he came back to Ireland.”
By Craig Kinsella