The Senate Speeches of W. B. Yeats

The Senate Speeches of W. B. Yeats

The Senate Speeches of W. B. Yeats

The Senate Speeches of W. B. Yeats

Excerpt

W. B. Yeats became a member of the Irish Senate on December 11, 1922, one of three Senators appointed to advise the government on matters concerning education, literature, and the arts. His first action on being sworn in was almost legendarily Yeatsian: he inspected his own and the country's future by consulting the stars. The horoscope which he cast, based on the exact moment at which he had taken the oath of office, indicated, with notable plausibility, rising trouble for the Free State over the next six years, but announced personal safety for himself. Having ascertained in this fashion the grand outlines of his new career, as well as that of the Senate, he proceeded to devote himself with evident satisfaction to the work of government--"the slow exciting work," he once called it, "of creating institutions."

The phrase was accurate. The first few years of the Free State were years of fundamental political and moral reconstruction. The nation had just passed through a tragic period of guerrilla warfare with England, only to be plunged into a two-year civil war involving shooting of civilians, reprisals, burning of famous houses, bitterness and slander in the opposed presses, and damage to property in the amount of 30 million pounds sterling. Under De Valera's leadership the "Ir-

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.