Thursday, February 14, 2019


My friend from Asia has powers and magic, he plucks a blue leaf from the young blue-gum
And gazing upon it, gathering and quieting
The God in his mind, creates an ocean more real than the ocean, the salt, the actual
Appalling presence, the power of the waters.
He believes that nothing is real except as we make it. I humbler have found in my blood
Bred west of Caucasus a harder mysticism.
Multitude stands in my mind but I think that the ocean in the bone vault is only
The bone vault’s ocean: out there is the ocean’s;
The water is the water, the cliff is the rock, come shocks and flashes of reality. The mind
Passes, the eye closes, the spirit is a passage;
The beauty of things was born before eyes and sufficient to itself; the heartbreaking beauty
Will remain when there is no heart to break for it.

Robinson Jeffers

Friday, February 8, 2019

A Reader's Guide to Yeats's "A Vision"

A Reader's Guide to Yeats's 'A Vision' has just been published. 

JUST PUBLISHED by Clemson University Press
a new introduction to the context and system of A Vision


1 Overview: The Book of A Vision
2 Genesis: Making and Remaking A Vision
3 Background: Antecedents and Assumptions
4 Presentation: Gyres and Geometry
5 Spirits: Determinism and Free Will
6 Being: Human and Divine
7 The Faculties: Action and Pursuit
8 The Principles: Reality and Value
9 The Daimon: Opposition and Essence
10 The Divine: One and Many
11 The Circles of Life: Wheels and Rebirth
12 The Twenty-Eight Incarnations: Lives and Phases
13 After Life: Understanding and Preparation
14 History: Cycles and Influx
15 Reframing A Vision
Appendix: People in Phases

The cover art is by Jaff Seijas.

With 39 diagrams. An associated glossary of terms and a bibliography are available here.

A Reader's Guide to Yeats's 'A Vision' by Neil Mann is published by Clemson University Press.
Orders are already shipping from Liverpool University Press for Europe—copies have arrived in Limerick!—and will shortly be available in North America through Oxford University Press.

There is also an e-book available through Liverpool University Press and, at current exchange rates, the sterling price is lower than the dollar equivalent in the United States, though still ridiculously high. The format is PDF and some of the diagrams contain colour for added contrast. Unfortunately the endnotes are not hyperlinked.

Amazon lists the book, but apparently does not have any stock and will not ship for some time. For Europe, copies are best ordered from Liverpool University Press.

An essential book for anyone starting out to read A Vision and a must-have book for the serious reader of A Vision.     —    Colin McDowell

This is research-led teaching at its very best. As the "one deep student" of A Vision, Neil Mann is the perfect companion, and his is a lucid, patient, and uncompromising guide to Yeats's book of such strangeness, candor, and compelling dignity.     —    Warwick Gould

Neil Mann provides here a long-needed companion to W. B. Yeats's strange and fascinating text A Vision, to which he will bring a much-deserved wider audience. That for each subject addressed, Mann provides an overview followed by an array of further detail means that A Vision will become more luminous both to new students of Yeats and lifelong devotees. We are fortunate to have such a skilled and knowledgeable Vision scholar as Mann elucidating both the workings of Yeats's system itself and its centrality to his poetry.     —    Catherine E. Paul

One hundred years after the first months of the "miracle" that led W. B. Yeats to write A Vision, one of the twentieth century's most difficult treatises has found its first thoroughly reliable and enjoyable guide. In Neil Mann's elegant and comprehensive book, Yeats's "unexplained rule of thumb that somehow explained the world" is explicated without having its essential wildness tamed. Mann is one of the world's most knowledgeable scholars of A Vision, and he has given us a clear and readable book that is a model of balance and erudition. Specialists and general readers of Yeats will turn again and again to this guide with relief and pleasure. Thanks to all spirits that it is here!     —    Margaret Mills Harper