Naru's Happy Travel
DOI : http://dx.doi.org/10.14354/yjk.2001.16.93
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전남대
Crazy Jane, Yeats, and Ireland
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Abstract
Crazy Jane is the name of the woman speaker in a sequence of poems which Yeats wrote in the years from 1929 to 1931, and are collected in “Words for Music Perhaps” section of The Winding Stair and Other Poems. Her words and deeds in the poems show that she is a very interesting and impressive woman. This paper is an attempt to understand this “crazy,” old, and wild woman, and to relate her to Yeats the poet and to Ireland.
The first and introductory part of the paper begins by reading “Crazy Jane Talks with the Bishop,” the most famous poem of the Crazy Jane sequence. In Jane's talk with the bishop in this poem, not only in what she says, but also in the manner of her speech, we can quite clearly see what kind of person she is, and what kind of life she is living. Such understanding prepares us for the reading of the whole poems in the next part. Finding many of the poems difficult to understand, and interpretations of them different from critic to critic, the present writer tries to read the poems as closely as possible.
Based upon the close reading of the poems in the second part, the third and last part of this paper considers some aspects of Crazy Jane’s personality and life, and their implications to Yeats and Ireland. First, the paper considers the possibility that Jane's free and bold expression of her sexual desire and love in the poems can be understood as the awareness and affirmation of feminine sexuality and love, and the critique of the repressive sexual morality and culture of the Irish society, especially the Catholic Church. Next, this paper relates Crazy Jane to Yeats the poet and to Ireland, and discusses the ways in which she can be read as Yeats’s other self or mask, or as the image of Ireland.

 


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