1. The Collected Poems of W. B. Yeats, ed. Richard J. Finneran, 2nd ed. (New York: Scribner Paperback Poetry, 1996), p. 348. All subsequent citations of Yeats's poetry are from this edition.
2. Quoted in Edward W. Said, "Yeats and Decolonization," in Nationalism, Colonialism, and Literature, ed. Seamus Deane (Minneapolis: Univ. of Minnesota Press, 1990), p. 78. Said's essay is in homage to Yeats's anti-colonialist fervor.
3. "Passion and Cunning: An Essay on the Politics of W. B. Yeats," in Passion and Cunning: Essays on Nationalism, Terrorism and Revolution (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1988), p. 10.
4. Richard J. Finneran emends Harold Macmillan's doubtful reading of the Variorum to restore the word "both," which is missing from the Macmillan Press's Collected Poems of W. B. Yeats (New York: Macmillan Publishing Co., 1956), p. 337. At line four, where Finneran reads a comma, Macmillan has a question mark, making for an un-Yeatsian intrastanzaic full stop: "Or on Spanish politics?"; and he has an exclamation point at the poem's close: "And held her in my arms!" Most noticeably, Macmillan's redaction puts "Politics" before "The Man and the Echo," "Cuchulain Comforted," "The Black Tower," and "Under Ben Bulben," the last poem in his edition, which he subtitles confidently, "Definitive Edition, With the Author's Final Revisions."
5. The most fevered accusation I came across is by Sheila Ann Murphy: "Bourgeois scholar despots are teaching William Butler Yeats's anti-people works all over the imperialist world in order to reinforce fascist ideology." Quoted in Joseph Allison, ed., "Introduction," Yeats's Political Identities: Selected Essays (Ann Arbor, Mich.: Univ. of Michigan Press, 1995), p. 8.
6. For a discussion of Yeats and eugenics, see Paul Scott Stanfield, Yeats and Politics in the 1930s (New York: St. Martin's Press, 1988), pp. 145-83.
7. "The Public v. the Late Mr William Butler Yeats," in The English Auden, ed. Edward Mendleson (London: Faber and Faber, 1977), pp. 389-93.
8. Auden, p. 390.
9. Auden, p. 391. Auden is apparently referring to the lines from "Under Ben Bulben": "You that Mitchel's prayer have heard, / 'Send war in our time, O Lord!'" (ll. iii:1-2).
10. Auden, p. 392.
11. "Criticism, Politics, and History: The Matter of Yeats," The Georgia Review, 24 (1970), p. 172.
12. Stanfield, p. 63.
13. Conor Cruise O'Brien, in an introduction to "Passion and Cunning" (written twenty-three years after its initial publication), quotes Irish Times reviewer Terence de Vere White as being so angered while reading the essay that "the print swam before my eyes," p. 1.
14. F. S. L. Lyons, "The Poet as Politician," rev. of Yeats, Ireland and Fascism, by Elizabeth Cullingford, Times Literary Supplement, 15 May 1981, p. 550.
15. O'Brien, p. 41.
16. O'Brien, p. 50.
17. O'Brien, p. 50. In the 1988 introduction to the reprinted essay, O'Brien holds firm: "I realize that many people . . . will still find the remark offensive. But I don't think the author of 'The Ghost of Roger Casement' would have found it in the least offensive" (p 2).
18. O'Brien, p. 15. Though he doesn't cite a reference, O'Brien apparently refers to Yeats: The Man and the Masks (New York: W. W. Norton, 1979).
19. Maurice R. O'Connell, rev. of Yeats, Ireland and Fascism, by Elizabeth Cullingford, Clio, 13 (1984), p. 305.
20. "Yeats and Antithetical Nationalism," in Yeats's Political Identities, ed. Joseph Allison (Ann Arbor, Mich.: Univ. of Michigan Press, 1996), p. 310.
21. Yeats, Ireland and Fascism (New York: New York Univ. Press, 1981), pp. 157, 191, 235.
22. For a discussion of the Blueshirts, see Bernard G. Krimm, W. B. Yeats and the Emergence of the Irish Free State 1918-1939: Living in the Explosion (Troy, N.Y.: Whitstone Publishing Co., 1981), pp. 139-76; Craig Cairns, Yeats, Eliot, Pound and the Politics of Poetry: Richest to the Richest (Pittsburgh, Penn.: Univ. of Pittsburgh Press, 1982), p. 276-78; Douglas Archibald, Yeats (Syracuse, N.Y.: Syracuse Univ. Press, 1983), pp. 146-53; and Elizabeth Cullingford, Yeats, Ireland and Fascism (New York: New York Univ. Press, 1981), pp. 197-214.
23. Archibald, p. 147.
24. Krimm, p. 154.
25. In his disillusionment, Yeats wrote an addendum to the Commentary on the songs, and waffled even as to whether they had been written expressly for the Blueshirts (it seems evident that they were): "I read my songs to friends . . . and now companies march to the words 'Blueshirt Abu', and a song that is all about shamrocks and harps or seems all about them . . . Young Ireland reserves for that theme. I did not write that song; I could not if I tried." Quoted in Martin Steward, Letter, Times Literary Supplement, 28 August 1992, p. 13.
26. Krimm, p. 150. The phrase appears as part of the "Commentary" Yeats wrote on the marching songs for the Blueshirts.
27. Cullingford, p. 23.
28. O'Brien, p. 11-12.
29. Archibald, p. 105.
30. "The Political Turn in Criticism," Salmagundi, 81 (1989), p 116.
31. Archibald, p. 195.
32. "I had to subdue a kind of Jacobin rage. I escaped from it all as a writer through my sense of style," writes Yeats in his Memoirs (Quoted in Cullingford, p. 67). She goes on to comment that "Such a description of his poetic method suggests that some of the power of Yeats's mature verse can be attributed to his attempt to subdue in himself the violence of political fanaticism" (Cullingford, p. 67).
33. Cullingford, p. 157.
34. W. B. Yeats and the Anti-Democratic Tradition (Dublin: Gill and Macmillan, 1981), p. 131.
35. Cullingford, p.222. Yeats is here responding to an appeal from Mannin and Ernst Toller, socialists who had asked him to recommend Jewish writer Carl von Ossietsky for the Nobel Peace Prize. Ossietsky was at the time imprisoned in a Nazi prison camp. As Cullingford points out, the letter can be read unsympathetically, but Mannin herself testified at how "acutely uncomfortable" his refusal made him. It was this side of Yeats--the "antithetical side," as Hazard Adams might put it--that tried whenever possible to limit himself to Irish politics. Here again we're reminded of the poem "Politics," and Yeats's natural inclination away from internationalist politics.
36. Ellmann, p. 269.