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The Wireless PastAnglo-Irish Writers and the BBC, 1931-1968$
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Emily C. Bloom

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780198749615

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: December 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198749615.001.0001

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W. B. Yeats’s Radiogenic Poetry

W. B. Yeats’s Radiogenic Poetry

(p.27) 1 W. B. Yeats’s Radiogenic Poetry
The Wireless Past

Emily C. Bloom

Oxford University Press

This chapter demonstrates how broadcasting catalysed significant revisions to W. B. Yeats’s theories of orality and literacy in his late poetry. Positioning three poems—’Roger Casement’, ‘Sweet Dancer’, and ‘The Curse of Cromwell’—in their radio contexts reveals how Yeats’s broadcasts create an alternative space between private and public spheres that allows the love lyric to become an oral genre and the ballad to become increasingly literary. The scripts within which these poems were broadcast framed the auditory audience by first evoking traditional spaces for oral poetry, such as the Greek stage, the ‘poet’s pub’, and the ‘poet’s parlour’, and then showing the impossibility of these spaces for modern poetics.

Keywords:   W. B. Yeats, ‘Sweet Dancer’, Margot Ruddock, ‘Curse of Cromwell’, ‘Roger Casement’, poetry, radio broadcasting, the BBC, audience

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