Yeats's verse can be divided into two periods, the first lasting from 1886 to about 1900. The poetry of this period shows a debt to Spenser, Shelley, and the Pre-Raphaelites. It centers on Irish mythology and themes and is mystical, slow-paced, and lyrical. Among the best-known poems of the period are "Falling of Leaves,""When You Are Old," and "The Lake Isle of Innisfree." Yeats edited William Blake's works in 1893, and his own Poems were collected in 1895.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.