W.B. Yeats: Poet, Playwright, Magician

September 15, 2012 | 2

“Yeats wrote frankly about his vocation as a magician in several memoirs.” On how the occult drew in W. B. Yeats because “it was so deeply connected with his poetic craft.”

works on special projects for The Millions. He lives in Baltimore and he frequents dive bars. His interests can be followed on his Tumblr, Nick Recommends and Twitter, @nemoran3.


  1. Looking forward to reading about this. Someone– think it is Brenda Maddox– has a bio of Yeats focused on his love of the supernatural. what really stuck with me from that book, however, was that Yeats struggled with learning to read. I believe he was 7 or 8 before he did. His father– the painter Jack B. Yeats–used to throw books at William Butler’s head, which just about broke my heart. And his mother was very remote, but took pleasure in telling them fairy tales of west of Ireland.

  2. There is a new book that is available on Amazon called “W.B. Yeats and the Secret Masters of the world.” Its a fictional account of his involvement with the occult and the Golden Dawn. I thought it was a fantastic read and for anyone interested in Yeats or the Golden Dawn I highly recommend it. The author is Peter Jennings and it only came out recently as far as I know. Although it is fictional and fairly satirical it seems clear that the writer has done his research and his presentation of Yeats as a character has been accomplished in a thoughtful manner.

    Link for anyone interested:


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