Whatever effect of unity Yeats secured in the last poems was achieved at the cost of ignoring the many great contributions made by others to the intellectual life of his times. The limitation which Yeats never quite grasped is that the concept of 'Unity' or homogeneity in a culture, like the ideal of homogeneity in a race, can only be achieved at the price of a ruthless genocide of ideas. The 'Unity' thus attained is never that, as we can see from Yeats's quite tawdry 'system' in A Vision, but rather in intensely perceived segment of the arc of possible human richness. When such a segment is taken for a whole, it may prove useful to the one who sets it up, or to his disciples. But that such wilful and exclusive 'ordering' can give direction to others is doubtful.1
And, even for Yeats, if we weigh the testimony of the last poems properly, the 'system' at the close failed him. But perhaps it is this very failure we should thank for their high turbulence. For they stand as the live 'monuments of unageing intellect'; their desperate gallantry represents the best order Yeats could construct from____________________
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Publication information: Book title: W. B. Yeats, the Tragic Phase:A Study of the Last Poems. Contributors: Vivienne Koch - Author. Publisher: Routledge & Kegan Paul. Place of publication: London. Publication year: 1951. Page number: 147.