W B Yeats as a poet of Love


Love is an intense and deep affection for another person. W B Yeats (1865-1939) is considered to be a great love poet. His lyrical poems are based on the theme of love. As a poet of love W B Yeats is so much more criticized than appreciated by several critics. Again, many renowned critics admire his poetry based on the theme of love. Yeats’s passionate love for Maud Gonne is famous all over the world.  

Yeats’s love for Maud Gonne  

There are two phases of Yeats’s love for Maud Gonne. The first phase started after Yeats’s meeting with Maud Gonne. And the second phase is after the marriage of Maud Gonne to Major MacBride. Again, as a father, Yeats’s passionate love is also found in the poem, “A prayer for my daughter”.   

More Notes: W B Yeats

The first phase of Yeats’s love: 

At the age of 23, Yeats fell in love with Maud Gonne. But it was one-sided love because Maud Gonne never had any feelings for him. But as an optimistic love poem, Yeats writes many poems describing the surprising beauty of Maud Gonne. In his poetry, he worships Maud Gonne like a Goddess. He also reveals that he will continue to love her life. Yeats was overwhelmed seeing the beauty of Maud Gonne but his expression about her was spiritual. It’s found in Yeats’s most celebrated poem “No Second Troy”,  

With beauty like a lightened bow, a kind 

That is not natural in an age like this, 

Being high and solitary and most stern 

Yeats expresses his passionate love in many of his celebrated poems like The Rose, 1893, and A prayer for my daughter. In A prayer for my daughter, Yeats calls Maud Gonne,  

The loveliest woman born 

Out of the mouth of Plenty’s horn”. 

More Notes: W B Yeats

Second phase of Yeats’s love:  

Maud Gonne got married to Major MacBride in 1903. After that Yeats’s love poetry becomes violent and aggressive. After his failure in love, Yeats ultimately becomes a critic of Maud Gonne. He writes many famous poems after his failure in love. No Second Troy, A prayer for my daughter, the sorrow of love and Tower. In Tower Yeats says,   

Does the imagination dwell the post 

Upon a woman won or woman lost? 

If on the lost admit you turned aside 

From a great labyrinth out of pride, 

The poem tower is a luminous example of Yeats’s a for Maud Gonne. Any reader even a schoolboy can realize Yeats’s love for Maud Gonne by reading the poem. Again, the poem “The sorrow of love” is also the expression of Yeats’s mournful love.   

Yeats’s love for his daughter: 

As a father Yeats was not indifferent at all. He may not get Maud Gonne in his life, but he was very careful about his daughter. He reveals his love as a father for his daughter in “A prayer for my daughter”.  

More Notes: Suggestions


Yeats is one of the greatest love poets of English literature. His feelings of love and his expression were really soulful. His soulful expression of love ranks him over other iconic love poets like John Donne, Robert Browning, and Andrew Marvell.

Rashedul Islam
Rashedul Islam

Hi, This is Rashedul. Researcher and lecturer of English literature and Linguistics.

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One comment

  1. I cannot thank you enough estimable sir💝💝💝.

    I am from Gaibandha Govt College. Masters session 2020-21.
    Please keep me in your prayer.

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