chapter  6
16 Pages


ByFrank Kinahan

A reader who knew nothing of W. B. Yeats's work but the first editions of his first three collections of poetry would come away from the reading with certain images fixed. Putting theory into practice, however, was no easy matter; and when Yeats ceased to see like a realist, his attempts to turn images taken from nature towards a purer use met with uneven results. The 1896 lyric known as "He bids his Beloved be at Peace" might serve as illustration. What Yeats was attempting here is more interesting than what he achieved. Thus the concept in its general outlines; and Yeats's occult sources had their contributions to make to the particulars of his theory as well. However close and numerous these correspondences between Yeats's thought and theosophical theory, the most helpful background on the Moods to be found in Yeats's early known sources appeared in The Life of Philippus Theophrastus Bombast of Hohenheim.