Yeats’s theory of poetry is of great importance for a full understanding of his own poems. In the early stage of his poetic career he believed in the theory of “art for life’s sake”. He was in full agreement with his father that dramatic poetry was to be preferred because it was clear and sharp in outline, while the lyric was vague and blurred. However his genius was lyrical and it penetrates even his dreams which are essentially lyrical.

But in the nineties he became the advocate of “art for art’s sake.”He started to write “pure poetry”, a poetry from which all the exterior decorations had been done away with. In the last phase of his poetry Yeats tried to reconcile art with life. In his later poetry we get a nice fusion. Yeasts believed that “literature is always personal, always one man’s vision of the world, one man’s experiences”.

But he also believed that there must be a fusion of the impersonal with the personal, of the objective with the subjective before really great poetry could be born. A poet to him was essentially a visionary who must remain true to his vision. Poetry to him was “the commonsense of the soul: it distinguishes greatness from triviality, mere fancifulness from beauty that lights up the deeps of thought.”

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