Books: Odd & Haunting Master

ESSAYS AND INTRODUCTIONS (530 pp.) —William Butler Yeats—Macmillan ($6.50).

When William Butler Yeats paid his first visit to that high priestess of occultism, Madame Blavatsky, the lady's pet cuckoo came out of a broken Swiss clock and cuckooed at him. It would be frivolous to call the encounter a recognition scene, but in some ways the poet and the bird were wackily well matched. Yeats was a genius, probably the 20th century's greatest poet. But his private life and personal beliefs were filled with quirks and oddities, mystical beliefs and spiritualist devotions. Essays...

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