Gathered by the renowned Irish poet, playwright, and essayist William Butler Yeats, the sixty-five tales and poems in this delightful collection uniquely capture the rich heritage of the Celtic imagination. Filled with legends of village ghosts, fairies, demons, witches, priests, and saints, these stories evoke both tender pathos and lighthearted mirth and embody what Yeats describes as “the very voice of the people, the very pulse of life.”
“The impact of these tales doesn’t stop with Yeats, or Joyce, or Oscar Wilde,” writes Paul Muldoon in his Foreword, “for generations of readers in Ireland and throughout the world have found them flourishing like those persistent fairy thorns.”
Paul Muldoon is Oxford Professor of Poetry and Howard G. B. Clark Professor in the Humanities at Princeton University. His recent works include To Ireland, I; Poems 1968–1998; and Moy Sand and Gravel. He lives in Princeton, New Jersey.
“These folk-tales are full of simplicity and musical occurrences, for they are the literature of a class...who have steeped everything in the heart: to whom everything is a symbol.”—William Butler Yeats