Study Guide

Down by the Salley Gardens Calling Card

By William Butler Yeats

Calling Card

Ireland's Pride and Joy

You'd be hard pressed to find a person in Ireland who doesn't know about William Butler Yeats. Likewise, you'd be hard pressed to find a Yeats poem that isn't about Ireland in some way. So if you find yourself gazing at a poem with some formal elements (like rhyme or regular meter) and that is set in Ireland, chances are you're looking at a Yeats poem. In fact, "Down by the Salley Gardens" provides a good idea of the kind of context Yeats usually relies on, though most of his work isn't as singsong-y as this one. Check out "Adam's Curse" for a good example.

Compared to his Modernist counterparts, Yeats kind of stood alone in his reliance on strict forms, meters, and rhymes. But however he put his poems together, they were usually inspired by his Irish heritage. Check out these popular Yeats gems here, and here for a better idea.

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