The first time I saw him he was cooking mushrooms for himself; the next time he was asleep under a hedge, smiling in his sleep. He was indeed always cheerful, though I thought I could see in his eyes swift as the eyes of a rabbit, when they peered out of their wrinkled holes a melancholy which was well-nigh a portion of their joy; the visionary melancholy of purely instinctive natures and of all animals.
And yet there was much in his life to depress him, for in the triple solitude of age, eccentricity, and deafness, he went about much pestered by children. It was for this very reason perhaps that he ever recommended mirth and hopefulness. He was fond, for instance, of telling how Collumcille cheered up his mother.
The next day Collumcille came again, and exactly the same conversation took place, but the third day the mother said, "Better, thank God. He had many strange sights to keep him cheerful or to make him sad. I asked him had he ever seen the faeries, and got the reply, "Am I not annoyed with them? I have copied this account of Paddy Flynn, with a few verbal alterations, from a note-book which I almost filled with his tales and sayings, shortly after seeing him. I look now at the note-book regretfully, for the blank pages at the end will never be filled up.
Paddy Flynn is dead; a friend of mine gave him a large bottle of whiskey, and though a sober man at most times, the sight of so much liquor filled him with a great enthusiasm, and he lived upon it for some days and then died. His body, worn out with old age and hard times, could not bear the drink as in his young days.
He was a great teller of tales, and unlike our common romancers, knew how to empty heaven, hell, and purgatory, faeryland and earth, to people his stories. He did not live in a shrunken world, but knew of no less ample circumstance than did Homer himself. Perhaps the Gaelic people shall by his like bring back again the ancient simplicity and amplitude of imagination. What is literature but the expression of moods by the vehicle of symbol and incident? And are there not moods which need heaven, hell, purgatory, and faeryland for their expression, no less than this dilapidated earth?
Nay, are there not moods which shall find no expression unless there be men who dare to mix heaven, hell, purgatory, and faeryland together, or even to set the heads of beasts to the bodies of men, or to thrust the souls of men into the heart of rocks? Let us go forth, the tellers of tales, and seize whatever prey the heart long for, and have no fear. Secondly, I was struck with the emotional intensity in some of the tales of beautiful women in the book. Yeats met Maude Gonne in —thirteen years before the publication of Celtic Twilight. I went there two or three times last year to talk to the miller.
I have been there this summer, and I shall be there again before it is autumn, because Mary Hynes, a beautiful woman whose name is still a wonder by turf fires, died there sixty years ago; for our feet would linger where beauty has lived its life of sorrow to make us understand that it is not of the world. There was a lot of men up beyond Kilbecanty one night, sitting together drinking, and talking of her, and one of them got up and set out to go to Ballylee and see her; but Cloon Bog was open then, and when he came to it he fell into the water, and they found him dead there in the morning.
She died of the fever that was before the famine. There is an old woman who remembers her, at Derrybrien among the Echtge hills, a vast desolate place. She was poor, but her clothes every day were the same as Sunday, she had such neatness. And if she went to any kind of a meeting, they would all be killing one another for a sight of her, and there was a great many in love with her, but she died young.
It is said that no one that has a song made about them will ever live long. These poor countrymen and countrywomen in their beliefs, and in their emotions, are many years nearer to that old Greek world, that set beauty beside the fountain of things, than are our men of learning.
Yeats bought it fourteen years after Celtic Twilight was published, and lived their during the summer. Dec 05, Leo. As a child I was fascinated by words. The etymology of words. The tones. How some words look similar. How some words sound similar. How words Faerie and Pharoe. I have also over many years had an interest in different cultures and their similarities.
Particularly the Celtic and Egyptian cultures. I have been to Egypt and as a resident of the UK have visited many Celtic sites. Over many years I have wondered about the similarities between these two cultures. Mysticism As a child I was fascinated by words. I wonder if Imoteph was actually a Druid. The magicians of Egypt practiced black magic. Kabbala, numerology, gnosticism. They were very enlightened and had great knowledge of the sciences just like the Druids. When one spells the word Judaism it sounds familiar to Druidism. Also Jew sounds like Dru. Was Merlin and Imoteph of the same ilk?
Elizabeth 1 right hand, Sir John Dee, was himself into the druidic and kabbalistic practices. Signed his works with Was a Druids Wand made from Holly Wood? What was William Blake referring to when he wrote Jerusalem? England, the New Juresalem? That green and pleasant land. Was that before or after the Roman Empire swallowed England? And did the Countenance Divine, Shine forth upon our clouded hills?
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And was Jerusalem builded here, Among these dark Satanic Mills? Bring me my Chariot of fire! View 1 comment. Dec 15, Alex rated it it was amazing Shelves: favorite-reviews , rth-lifetime , , reading-through-history , ireland , top In his youth Yeats was a member of the Golden Dawn, an occult society; he wrote this book during that time, and it's widely seen as a manifesto about his belief in faeries and magic and such.
And it is that - but it's not what you think. When he says "Let us go forth, the tellers of tales, and seize whatever prey the heart long for, and have no fear. Everything exists, everything is true, and the earth is only a little dust under our feet. He's talking about the power of myth in building culture and identity, and his book, broadly a collection of Irish folklore gathered from bars and washerwomen, will be about the impact of myth on the Irish character.
You have made the Darkness your enemy. We - we exchange civilities with the world beyond. Compare that statement to the array of superstitions cataloged in Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn, where anything and everything is a bad omen. And remember how Americans have historically felt about witches. We have a different, more fearful attitude toward the unknown. The quote above isn't about faeries; it's about the Irish. A warning note: as he got older, Yeats grew out of his Golden Dawn days. By the time he reprinted Celtic Twilight and two other short works in Mythologies, he was embarrassed by some of his more imaginative points, and he ended up editing all the fun out of it.
Mythologies will still do as a collection of Irish folklore, but it's not as weird and beautiful as it originally was. Here's my review of Mythologies, which doesn't really say anything you didn't just read. View all 3 comments. This is Yeats's collection of stories and lore surrounding Celtic fairies, ghosts and spirits.
The Celtic Twilight
It's available at Librivox. Most of the chapters are pretty short. My favorites are "The Hosting of the Sidhe" the poem that opens the book , "A Teller of Tales" Yeats's description of Paddy Flynn, the storyteller who provided him with many of these tales , "The Untiring Ones" concerning humans who were enchanted by the fairies "The Man and His Boots" a funny story a This is Yeats's collection of stories and lore surrounding Celtic fairies, ghosts and spirits.
My favorites are "The Hosting of the Sidhe" the poem that opens the book , "A Teller of Tales" Yeats's description of Paddy Flynn, the storyteller who provided him with many of these tales , "The Untiring Ones" concerning humans who were enchanted by the fairies "The Man and His Boots" a funny story about a man whose boots are haunted , and "A Remonstrance with Scotsmen for Having Soured the Disposition of Their Ghosts and Faeries.
Yeats writes: "You have discovered the faeries to be pagan and wicked. You would like to have them all up before the magistrate. In Ireland warlike mortals have gone amongst them, and helped them in their battles, and they in turn have taught men great skill with herbs, and permitted some few to hear their tunes. Carolan slept upon a faery rath. Ever after their tunes ran in his head, and made him the great musician he was. In Scotland you have denounced them from the pulpit. In Ireland they have been permitted by the priests to consult them on the state of their souls.
Unhappily the priests have decided that they have no souls, that they will dry up like so much bright vapour at the last day; but more in sadness than in anger they have said it. The Catholic religion likes to keep on good terms with its neighbours. Sep 01, Tifany rated it it was amazing. A definite must-read for anyone interested in fairy tales, especially the Irish sort, as I've never found anything better. There's another Yeats collection of traditional tales--Irish Folk and Fairy Stories--that also includes the Celtic Twilight, A definite must-read for anyone interested in fairy tales, especially the Irish sort, as I've never found anything better.
There's another Yeats collection of traditional tales--Irish Folk and Fairy Stories--that also includes the Celtic Twilight, but if you're not sure how much of this you want, and want to start with just the best, start with the Celtic Twilight. Yeats has a lovely Chekhovian trick of introducing a new thought, a new branching out of the story, just in the last few lines of many of the pieces, that makes this volume especially numinous and atmospheric.
Conor McPherson's play, The Weir, is also a good read in this vein, though it has a contemporary setting--it has a very Yeatsian feel, in the way it brings the supernatural into the everyday, though it's humor is in a welcome way more sly. Mar 19, Maria rated it really liked it Shelves: fairy-tales , short-stories , serial-reads.
The Celtic Twilight by William Butler Yeats. Search eText, Read Online, Study, Discuss.
This was a slow start but this is the faery that I love! Here they are bit good or wholesome, Yeats writes them for the mischievous, ethereal, haunting, fearful, spiteful and vengeful beings that they are! Being the first work of Yeats I've ever read, I was unsure as to what I was getting into but I might just read more of his work. Took a bit for me to wrap my head towards the writing style as I've been reading a lot of modern fiction thus the slow speed but I also think that it had to do with Y This was a slow start but this is the faery that I love!
Took a bit for me to wrap my head towards the writing style as I've been reading a lot of modern fiction thus the slow speed but I also think that it had to do with Yeats' writing style. Yeats believed in faeries. My hero! These are the tricksy meddlesome faeries of Irish myth and legend, and his book chronicles real life documentation of faery happenings and occurences from Irish locals. Yeats was fascinated by the power of myth and how it impacts on everyday life.
We have here tales of ghosts, faery pigs in the forest, enchanted glades, changelings, the strange creatures of the hedgerows. What is fascinating is that these are both fabulous tales and a record of popular beliefs Yeats believed in faeries. What is fascinating is that these are both fabulous tales and a record of popular beliefs in Ireland at the beginning of the 20th century. Yeats was heavily involved in mysticism, and was a member of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn - magic and the otherwordly permeate his writings and poems, and he has a beautiful and evocative voice.
I will definitely seek out a hard copy of this. Available on LibriVox and Sacred Texts. Help us introduce it to others by writing a better introduction for it.
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A Teller of Tales
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The Celtic Twilight Search. Advanced Search. A collection of folktales and myths from Sligo and Galway, first published in , revised in Time drops in decay, Like a candle burnt out.
And the mountains and woods, Have their day, have their day; But, kindly old rout, Of the fire-born moods, You pass not away. Quiz: W. Yeats: Life and Works: 20 Questions Please submit a quiz here. Sorry, no links available. About William Butler Yeats. This Book. A Teller of Tales.