Poems for pleasure - W B Yeats

Ref: C2339000

Each poet this group studies becomes part of a jigsaw - "20th century Poets". We will see how he measures up to the many other great poets we have already studied. He wrote for at least 50 years including much on the troubled history of Ireland in the early decades of the 20th century. His style and purpose as a poet evolved and with hindsight we will see that it went through 3 very different phases.

Course aim

To acquaint ourselves with the poetry of W.B. Yeats (1865-1039). He was awarded in 1923 with the Nobel Prize for literature.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • You need an open mind and enthusiasm. Prior knowledge of Yeats will help but is not essential.

By the end of the course I should be able to:

  • Widen the store of poems you know.
  • Feel more confident reading unfamiliar poems on your own, especially reading them aloud.
  • Demonstrate an awareness of how poets find and create new forms for their poems.
  • Demonstrate an awareness of how poems respond to personal and external pressures.
  • Conduct your own research, read up particular topics on behalf of the class and present your findings.

How will I be taught?

  • The WEA tutor will use a range of different teaching and learning methods and encourage you and the group to be actively involved in your learning
  • You may be asked to undertake additional work in your own time to support your learning
  • A major emphasis is on reading poems aloud as a means to coming to understand them. Students are encouraged to work in small groups leading to discussion within the whole group.

What kind of feedback can I expect?

  • A range of informal activities will be used by the tutor to see what you are learning which may include quizzes, question and answer, small projects and discussion
  • You will have opportunities to discuss your progress with your tutor
  • You will be encouraged to share your work with the group and discuss your learning
  • You will be encouraged to consider other students work and give your opinions and suggestions
  • Every discussion allows constant feedback between tutor and student and amongst students themselves.

What else do I need to know?

  • Please bring pen, pencil, notebook or ringbinder. And whatever Yeats' texts and any background material you find.

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

  • You need a good "Collection" of Yeats' poems. There are numerous editions, all about 350/400 pages. "Used" copies are mostly good and prices go as low as 1p + postage. A "Collection" is more or less his complete work.

What can I do next?

  • Most students re-enrol to study another poet.

Download full course outline

Poems for pleasure - W B Yeats Course Outline


You can if you meet all of the following requirements:

  • are paying the standard fee or are on any of the qualifying benefits
  • are paying with a credit/debit card or are not paying a fee because of a qualifying benefit
  • have a valid email address
  • have been resident in the UK, EU or EEA for the last 3 years
  • are aged 19 years or older on 1st September 2017
  • have read and accept the standard terms and conditions
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