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The Compleat Angler: And Other Meditations on the Art and Philosophy of Fishing, 15th Century to the Present: William Butler Yeats

The exhibit is located in the Reading Room at Archives & Special Collections, 363 Hillman Library, Spring - Fall 2017.

William Butler Yeats Banner

The Fisherman by W.B. Yeats

Although I can see him still
The freckled man who goes

To a grey place on a hill

In grey Connemara clothes

At dawn to cast his flies; 

It's long since I began

To call up to the eyes 

This wise and simple man.

All day I'd looked in the face

What I had hoped 'twould be 

To write for my own race

And the reality; 

The living men that I hate,

The dead man that I loved,
The craven man in his seat, 

The insolent unreproved

And no knave brought to book

Who has won a drunken cheer, 

The witty man and his joke

Aimed at the commonest ear,
The clever man who cries 

The catch-cries of the clown,

The beating down of the wise 

And great Art beaten down.


Maybe a twelvemonth since
Suddenly I began, 

In scorn of this audience

Imagining a man,

And his sun-freckled face,

And grey Connemara cloth,

Climbing up to a place

Where stone is dark under froth,

And the down turn of his wrist

When the flies drop in the stream;

A man who does not exist,

A man who is but a dream;

And cried, 'before I am old 

I shall have written him one 

Poem maybe as cold

And passionate as the dawn.'

Yeats, W.B. (William Butler), (1865-1939).

"The Fisherman."

In The Wild Swans At Coole: Other Verses and a Play in Verse.

Churchtown, Dundrum, {Ireland}: Cuala Press, 1917, pp. 6-8.

University Library System - Archives & Special Collections

William Butler Yeats

Charcoal drawing of young William Butler Yeats

Frontispiece portrait of young Yeats "From a charcoal drawing by John S. Sargent, R.A."

William Butler Yeats, born in 1865, was an Irish poet of the 20th century who received the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1923. Yeats played an integral part in the Irish Literary Revival during his lifetime, and he helped establish the Abbey Theater in Dublin with the support of his friend Lady Gregory. 


Yeats, William Butler, (1865-1939). 

The Collected Works in Verse and Prose of William Butler Yeats. Volume 1. 

Stratford-on-Avon: Shakespeare Head Press, 1908.

University Library System - Archives & Special Collections

Broadsheets of Jack B. Yeats

A Broad Sheet from the Yeats Collection

Jack Butler Yeats, was a painter, poet, and writer.  He is considered the most important Irish artist of the 20th century, and is the younger brother of William Butler Yeats.  In collaboration with the artist Pamela Colman Smith, Jack llustrated a series of broad sheets for each month of 1902, which were published and sold by Elkin Mathews in London.  The Jack B. Yeats Broadsheet Collection is part of the Walter & Martha Leuba Collection of Artists Prints, and is located in Archives & Special Collections at the University of Pittsburgh.

Elizabeth Yeats and The Cuala Press

Charging unicorn press device for Cuala Press

Robert Gregory, Charging Unicorn, 2 1/4 inch diameter block device.  First published by W. B. Yeats in Discoveries, 1907, and republished as the frontispiece in The Wild Swans at Coole, 1917.

Elizabeth Yeats, born in 1868, was the sister of William Butler Yeats. During the early years of her life, Elizabeth worked at Kelmscott Press with her sister Lily Yeats, where she acquired the skills of book production. These skills made her an integral part of the Dun Emer Press in Dublin, which she helped to establish. In 1908, Elizabeth left Dun Emer Press and established her own press, The Cuala Press. The press was the only Arts and Crafts press directed by women. The Cuala Press specialized in printing books and poems by authors of the Irish Literary Revival, including William Butler Yeats. Elizabeth died in 1940, and six years after her death the press closed. In 1969, the press was reopened by the children of William Butler Yeats. 

Title page of The Wild Swans at Coole, 1917

Yeats, W.B. (William Butler), (1865-1939).

Gregory, Robert, (1881-1918) artist.

"The Fisherman."

In The Wild Swans at Coole:

‚Äč Other Verses and a Play in Verse

Churchtown, Dundrum, [Ireland]: Cuala Press, 1917, pp. 6-8.

Limited Edition, one of 400 copies.

University Library System - Archives & Special Collections

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