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New Yeats Play!

By Harriet Staff

Top of the morning news! A previously unpublished Yeats play is now available online, thanks to the admirable scholarship of Boston College’s Irish literature specialists. Reports the BC website:

The entire manuscript of Yeats’s unpublished play, Love and Death, which he composed in 1884, totals five notebooks, some of which contain loose-leaf inserted papers. The play is significant for being the first written by Yeats. It has never before been published or performed. Yeats composed it in the same year that he began writing Mosada and The Island of Statues, his earliest published plays. Love and Death is valuable, in part, for the light it sheds on the poet’s other work from this period.

The play was found among donations from Yeats’s son, Michael, to Boston College, which holds one of the world’s largest Yeats collections. The Chronicle of Higher Education explains that the work’s copyright expired last January.

But enough gab. What can readers expect in this play? Let’s just say there’s a “spirit hunter” named Sintram and a “harper” named Sebald. Plus a princess. And it begins with this enchanting epigraph, which we hope we’re transcribing correctly:

When we were not and these men were
Loud did the crickets sing—
When we are dead, still without care
Loud will the crickets sing—

Squint to your heart’s delight! Click here.


Posted in Poetry News on Wednesday, July 27th, 2011 by Harriet Staff.