WB Yeats

Mystical Experience of William Butler (W.B.) Yeats

William Butler Yeats (1865 – 1939) was an Irish poet and a leading literary figure of the 20th century; in 1923, he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature.  Among Yeats’ most well-known poems are “The Stolen Child”, “The Second Coming”, and “Sailing to Byzantium”.  Yeats had a lifelong interest in mysticism and spiritualism.

W.B. Yeats described his “seeing” experience (mystical experience) in the following poem:

“My fifteenth year had come and gone.
I sat, a solitary man,
In a crowded London shop,
An open book and an empty cup
On the marble table top.

While on the shop and street I gazed,
My body for a moment blazed,
And twenty minutes, more or less,
It seemed, so great my happiness,
That I was blessed and could bless.”

Quoted from The Psychology of Awakening by Gay Watson, Stephen Batchelor, and Guy Claxton.

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