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What Is Yeats Doing in A Vision?

Rhee Young Suck


This article discusses A Vision so it could be of some help to reading some ofYeats’s metaphysical poems. It is true that some of his metaphysical poems are sobeautiful but that it is not easy to grasp what they really want to say to thereaders, and how and why they appear so haunting and attracting to the generalreaders.
Equally important is that the book itself is a poem of supreme beauty.
There are two versions of A Vision. The first version Yeats privately publishedin 1925. His wife Georgie was a medium, through whom Yeats had talked with histeachers/gods for seven years; as a result, he created a system that classifies maninto 28 types following the 28 phases of the moon, made a theory of reincarnation,a history of the world, based on the cyclical and antithetical nature of the moonand the gyre.
The second version became a new book. Yeats revised the first version,deleting, adding, polishing much of it, and published it two years before he died.While composing the first book, Yeats said he did not read philosophy, because hedid not want himself to be under the influence of the philosophy and distort whathis teachers said through the automatic writing. He did read philosophy, however,for four years, to understand his wife’s automatic writing accurately, when herevised it for the second publication.
Yeats questioned what he had invented, and further contemplated big questionsintellectuals of his time raised. All of these efforts grew to be the book of thecentury that is most elaborate, most abstract and most concrete as well. It is both abook of beauty itself and a book for reading his poetry and plays and his thoughts.

예이츠는 그의 『환상록』에서 무엇을 하고 있나?*



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