Brown Penny

William Butler Yates

William Butler Yeats photographed in 1903 by Alice Boughton

I WHISPERED, ‘I am too young,’
And then, ‘I am old enough’;
Wherefore I threw a penny
To find out if I might love.
‘Go and love, go and love, young man,
If the lady be young and fair.’
Ah, penny, brown penny, brown penny,
I am looped in the loops of her hair.
O love is the crooked thing,
There is nobody wise enough
To find out all that is in it,
For he would be thinking of love
Till the stars had run away
And the shadows eaten the moon.
Ah, penny, brown penny, brown penny,
One cannot begin it too soon.

W. B. Yeats

William Butler Yeats was an Irish poet and one of the foremost figures of 20th century literature. A pillar of both the Irish and British literary establishments, in his later years he served as an Irish Senator for two terms.
Yeats was a driving force behind the Irish Literary Revival and, along with Lady Gregory, Edward Martyn, and others, founded the Abbey Theatre, where he served as its chief during its early years. In 1923 he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature as the first Irishman so honoured for what the Nobel Committee described as “inspired poetry, which in a highly artistic form gives expression to the spirit of a whole nation.” Yeats is generally considered one of the few writers who completed their greatest works after being awarded the Nobel Prize; such works include The Tower and The Winding Stair and Other Poems. Yeats was a very good friend of American expatriate poet and Bollingen Prize laureate Ezra Pound. Yeats wrote the introduction for Rabindranath Tagore’s Gitanjali, which was published by the India Society.

• Text under CC-BY-SA license
o Lived: Jun 13, 1865 – Jan 28, 1939 (age 73)
o Spouse: Georgiana Hyde-Lees (1917 – 1939)
o Parents: John Butler Yeats • Susan Pollexfen
o Awards: Nobel Prize in Literature (1923)
o Siblings: Jack Butler Yeats • Elizabeth Yeats • Lily Yeats
o Children: Anne Yeats • Michael Yeats

1889: In 1889, Yeats met Maud Gonne, then a 23-year-old English heiress and ardent Irish     Nationalist.
1896: In 1896, Yeats was introduced to Lady Gregory by their mutual friend Edward Martyn.
1899: In 1899, Yeats, Lady Gregory, Edward Martyn and George Moore established the Irish Literary Theatre for the purpose of performing Irish and Celtic plays.
1902: In 1902, he helped set up the Dun Emer Press to publish work by writers associated with the Revival.
1916: His final proposal to Maud Gonne took place in mid-1916.
1917: William Butler Yeats married Georgiana Hyde-Lees on October 20, 1917.
1939: He died at the Hôtel Idéal Séjour, in Menton, France, on 28 January 1939.