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Sunday, 18 September 2011
The Grave

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The “final resting place” of WB Yeats and his wife George in Drumcliffe, County Sligo, Ireland.  Her full name was Bertha Georgie Hyde-Lees, but according to Brenda Maddox (writing in The Guardian) within one year of their marriage:

Yeats renamed her “George”, explaining that “Georgie” was intolerable. A more likely reason is that he wanted a solid rhyme for “forge”, when, in 1918, he wrote: “I, the poet William Yeats/ With old mill boards and sea-green slates/ And smithy work from the Gort forge/ Restored this tower for my wife George”.

Well Brenda, I am no expert on Yeats but I really find it more plausible that he found the diminutive Georgie insufferable than that he wanted his wife’s name to rhyme with the word forge.

Yeats died in France on 28 January 1939, and a year later his body was moved to Sligo where it was reburied.  The epitaph on his grave is taken from the last lines of his poem “Under Ben Bulben”, one of his final poems:

  Cast a cold Eye
  On Life, on Death.
  Horseman, pass by!

Posted by bigblue on 18/09/2011 at 08:00 AM
Filed under: EuropeIreland • (0) CommentsPermalinkBookmark or Share

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