W. B. Yeats
Quotations


I think you can leave the arts, superior or inferior, to the conscience of mankind.

Designs in connection with postage stamps and coinage may be described, I think, as the silent ambassadors on national taste.

You know what the Englishman's idea of compromise is? He says, some people say there is a God. Some people say there is no God. The truth probably lies somewhere between these two statements.

I am of a healthy long lived race, and our minds improve with age.

I hate journalists. There is nothing in them but tittering jeering emptiness. They have all made what Dante calls the Great Refusal. The shallowest people on the ridge of the earth.

It is most important that we should keep in this country a certain leisured class. I am of the opinion of the ancient Jewish book which says "there is no wisdom without leisure."

This melancholy London--I sometimes imagine that the souls of the lost are compelled to walk through its streets perpetually. One feels them passing like a whiff of air.

Englishmen are babes in philosophy and so prefer faction-fighting to the labour of its unfamiliar thought.

We make out of the quarrel with others, rhetoric, but of the quarrel with ourselves, poetry.

The only business of the head in the world is to bow a ceaseless obeisance to the heart.

I agree about Shaw--he is haunted by the mystery he flouts. He is an atheist who trembles in the haunted corridor.

Man can embody truth but he cannot know it.

I wonder if anybody does anything at Oxford but dream and remember, the place is so beautiful. One almost expects the people to sing instead of speaking. It is all . . . like an opera.

Words are always getting conventionalized to some secondary meaning. It is one of the works of poetry to take the truants in custody and bring them back to their right senses.

The creations of a great writer are little more than the moods and passions of his own heart, given surnames and Christian names, and sent to walk the earth.



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