William Butler Yeats
This section contains articles and material which relate to Yeats's interest in astrology.
The Key to Yeats by Ernest Willbie
In this article, first published in American Astrology during 1970, Willbie chooses the poem On a Picture of a Black Centaur by Edmund Dulac to demonstrate the subtle use of astrological symbolism by Yeats in his written work. The poem itself was written in 1920 and was published a few years later in The Tower. Edmund Dulac, an artist and designer, was a friend of Yeats. He was involved as artistic designer for Yeats's theatrical explorations of the Japanese Noh drama tradition. Judging from the contents of some of his letters to Yeats, Dulac was actively interested in astrology. According to comments in his Autobiographies, in 1897 Yeats had a vivid dream filled with centaur imagery. The dream prompted much contemplation, and may ultimately have been a factor decades later in the writing of this poem.
Copyright © 2003 Bill Sheeran. All Rights Reserved.