Yeats Day Date in the current year: June 13, 2024

Yeats Day Yeats Day is an annual celebration dedicated to William Butler Yeats, an Irish poet, dramatist and writer who was awarded the 1923 Nobel Prize in Literature. It is observed on June 13 to commemorate Yeats’s birth anniversary.

William Butler Yeats was born on June 13, 1865 in Sandymount, Ireland. He was educated in Dublin and London, but spent some of his early childhood and school holidays in Sligo, where his mother’s family resided. Yeats came to think of Sligo as his childhood and spiritual home, and its landscape inspired much of his poetry.

Yeats began writing his first poems at the age of seventeen. His early works were heavily influenced by Percy Bysshe Shelley, Edmund Spenser, and Pre-Raphaelite poets, but this influence didn’t last long. Soon Yeats became fascinated by Irish mythology and folklore and found new inspiration in Romantic poets such as William Blake, John Keats, and William Wordsworth. Around the same time, his lifelong interest in astrology, mysticism, occultism, and spiritualism started to develop.

Yeats’s early poems were lyrical and modernist, but as hew grow older, his poetry became more realistic and engaged with more contemporary issues. He also wrote prose and plays, having served as the chief playwright for the Irish Literary Theatre from its founding in 1899 until its collapse due to lack of funding in 1901. Yeats’s major works include The Land of Heart’s Desire, Cathleen ni Houlihan, Deirdre, The Wild Swans at Coole, The Tower, and Last Poems and Plays.

Yeats was nominated for the Nobel Prize in Literature for seven times before being awarded in 1923 “for his always inspired poetry, which in a highly artistic form gives expression to the spirit of a whole nation”. The timing of his win was highly symbolic since it came soon after Ireland’s independence. Politically aware, Yeats highlighted this fact anytime he could. Even though the award was well-deserved, Yeats considered that he was honored less as an individual than as a representative of his country and Irish literature.

Yeats lived a long and productive life and died in France on January 28, 1939, aged 73. The poet was originally buried in France, but his remains were returned to Ireland in 1948 and reburied in a churchyard in the village of Drumcliffe, County Sligo.

Yeats Day was launched in 2015 by Yeats Society Sligo to mark the poet’s 150th birth anniversary. The Yeats Society of Ireland, also known as Yeats Society Sligo, was founded in 1958 to preserve and promote the legacy of W. B. Yeats, his younger brother, artist and illustrator Jack Butler Yeats, and the rest of the Yeats family.

The main program of Yeats Day is held in the Yeats Building in the heart of Sligo. It includes lectures, poetry readings, talks, performances, ceremonies, and other exciting events and activities. In addition, poetry lovers around the world take part in the celebration by sharing their favorite Yeats poems through video, music, song, art, and other media using the hashtags #YeatsDay and #YeatsDaySligo.

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Yeats Day, birth anniversaries, cultural observances, holidays in Ireland, William Butler Yeats