The Fascination of What’s Difficult

By William Butler Yeats 1865–1939
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. There's something ails our colt   
That must, as if it had not holy blood   
Nor on Olympus leaped from cloud to cloud,   
Shiver under the lash, strain, sweat and jolt
As though it dragged road metal. My curse on plays   
That have to be set up in fifty ways,
On the day's war with every knave and dolt,   
Theatre business, management of men.   
I swear before the dawn comes round again   
I'll find the stable and pull out the bolt.

Source: The Collected Poems of W. B. Yeats (1989)

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Poet William Butler Yeats 1865–1939

POET’S REGION Ireland

SCHOOL / PERIOD Modern

 William Butler Yeats

Biography

William Butler Yeats is widely considered to be one of the greatest poets of the twentieth century. He belonged to the Protestant, Anglo-Irish minority that had controlled the economic, political, social, and cultural life of Ireland since at least the end of the seventeenth century. Most members of this minority considered themselves English people who merely happened to have been born in Ireland, but Yeats was staunch in . . .

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POET’S REGION Ireland

SCHOOL / PERIOD Modern

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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