William Butler Yeats is buried in the Protestant churchyard, Drumcliff, Co. Sligo, Ireland.
(See map...ref no. 6)
Yeats' Grave at Drumcliff
Yeats was born in Dublin into an artistic family. His father John B.
Yeats was a painter and so was his brother Jack B. Yeats. Yeats himself
studied at the Dublin School of Art, but at the age of 21 he abandoned
art in favour of a literary career.
His early work was influenced by
Pre-Raphaelites and by his love of Irish folklore and legend. His
early collections include Crossways (1889), The Rose
(1893) and The Wind Among the Reeds (1899).
His unrequited love for the beautiful revolutionary Maude Gonne inspired much of his
finest love poetry. Yeats proposed to her on a number of occasions but she refused
him. He later proposed to her daughter and was refused again. In 1917 he married
Georgie Hyde-Lees who was an exponent of automatic writing.
Yeats' work continued to develop throughout his career becoming more
condensed, more cynical and more concerned with contemporary politics.
Although Yeats was abroad during the 1916 Easter Rising it had a major
affect upon him inspiring the famous lines: ' All changed, changed
utterly:/ A terrible beauty is born'. His later collections include:
The Tower (1928), The Winding Stair (1929) and Last Poems
Yeats died in the South of France on 28 January, 1939 and
was buried at Roquebrune Cemetery. In 1948 his body was exhumed and brought back to Drumcliff.
However, there have been suggestions that the remains brought back from
France were not those of Yeats but, instead, those of a French dentist.
As Yeats requested in his last poem - he was buried within sight of Ben Bulben.
Yeats' grandfather had been the rector at Drumcliff between 1811-46.