chapter  5
46 Pages

Natural Ideals: Yeats and the Walled Garden

ByFrank Kinahan

Given the complexities of W. B. Yeats's probings of the spiritual realm, it was perhaps inevitable that the visionary elements of his work would come to receive so large a share of attention. Yet the early writings themselves habitually focus, not only on the esoteric, but on the worlds of home and nature; and one of Yeats's more exotic lyrics provides a useful starting point for consideration of his less exotic settings. The narrator of "The Rose of Battle" addresses himself to the dissatisfied, the "sad, the lonely, the insatiable". A life of peace in a place of beauty: whether he be admiring its use in Morris or making use of it himself, the image of the walled garden joins Yeats's abiding love of the natural world that the garden represents to his early longings for a home made sure.