The Irish hold their poets dear, and today is a day for remembrance in Ireland, for William Butler Yeats died 80 years ago today.
Yeats was many things beyond being a Nobel Laureate for his poetry, which Wikipedia relates in detail. Still it is for his poems, which remained formal even as others took to other forms that he is best remembered.
He was, although protestant – if agnostic, and an Irish Nationalist, if more concerned with culture than politics. He was indeed a patron of Irish theater and of Irish literature.
To many who do not know his writings well, Yeats is yet known for his unrequited love for Maud Gonne, who rejected his proposals again and again. There is in many of us an admiration for one who has had an unrequited love for a muse, even if something we’ve not experienced. Petrarch, before Yeats, penned his sonnets for his beloved Laura. Poetic in its essence.
I would add here Auden’s closing, but perhaps it is best to read yourself.