The germ of an idea for the poem comes probably from Jul. 1899 and WBY's excursions with AG in Co. Galway in search of folklore. Using the Gregory family hunting lodge Chevy Chase as their base, AG and WBY interviewed numerous inhabitants of the Galway/ Clare mountainous area, where AG's ‘Mrs. Finnegan’ was to be encountered. The play also features the Mayor of Kinvara, a small village on Galway Bay which was much reduced by the Irish famine, and was formerly a part of the Gregory estate. The locale of AG's estate, then, is neither accidental nor a matter of mere ornament. The deepest challenge is that posed in the poem's eventual title, and the word ‘Withering’: WBY, with AG as his primary witness, and his reading public as witnesses after that, uses the lyric to search for a way of letting apparent wasting and decay figure as a point of growth.