BL. W. B. Yeats

26. Fergus and the Druid. In Early Poems and Stories. London: Macmillan, 1925.

Revised version of a poem that first appeared in National Observer in 1892. Van de Kamp (234) suggests that while Yeats ‘blatantly misrepresents’ the nô as drama he ‘incorporates’ the form in such poems as this. Fergus here, according to Van de Kamp, ‘encapsulates the essence of Zen’ when he tells the Druid (l. 38), ‘I have grown nothing, knowing all’, and in this and other revised lines ‘Yeats’s great-rooted blossomer is kindred to the pine tree on the backdrop of the nô stage, a symbol of eternity, longevity and peace’. In earlier printings the line Van de Kamp quotes had read ‘I have grown nothing, being all’. Yeats largely maintained the changes in this version in subsequent printings.





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