W. B. Yeats and T. Sturge Moore; Their Correspondence, 1901-1937

Excerpt

The Two Poets whose correspondence forms this book, Thomas Sturge Moore (1870-1944) and William Butler Yeats (1865-1939), met through a third poet, Laurence Binyon, two years before the new century and formed a friendship that lasted until Yeats died. Looking back through the years, Sturge Moore wrote of the first meeting and the dual effect Yeats had on him: 'His derision of the puritanical and scientific bases of my bringing up roused me to contend as much as his witty dream-soaked talk delighted me. . . . I had early waited for a Leonardesque sweetness and subtlety which visited his features, and even in his bulky latter-day impressiveness sometimes refound it. . . . He was fascinating both to watch and listen to; I liked him best alone; then the provocative truculence of his talk often gave place to seductive delicacy.' (English: Summer 1939.) Yeats left no comparable description of Sturge Moore but much of this poet's character is seen by reflection in his brother's sedate and captivating autobiographical note to The Philosophy of G. E. Moore (Library of Living Philosophers, Northwestern University 1942).

In the early days Yeats and Sturge Moore often saw each other in London where both played active parts in the literary and artistic scene--a scene crowded with the many well-known figures of the Nineties and of the Edwardian era and lit by a concentrated brilliance that, apart from the measuring of talent, astonishes those standing in the pale wide dissipated light of today. Later . . .

Additional information

Contributors:
Publisher: Place of publication:
  • New York
Publication year:
  • 1953

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