If W. B Yeats was alive he would be 152 today, sadly he isn’t, but his poems live on and he is widely regarded as one of the best poets and foremost figures of 20th century literature. A lesser known fact however is that it is also widely believed he had dyslexia.
In his autobiography, he refers to his early education in a way that is reminiscent for many with dyslexia and aptly explains the frustration many feel:
“I was unfitted for school work, and though I would often work well for weeks together, I had to give the whole evening to one lesson if I was to know it. My thoughts were a great excitement, but when I tried to do anything with them, it was like trying to pack a balloon in a shed in a high wind.”
In 1923 W.B Yeats was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature for his poetry cementing his reputation earned by world famous poems, many of which displaying his passion and love for his home country of Ireland such as ‘I am of Ireland’, ‘Lake Isle of Innisfree’, ‘An Irish Airman Foresees his Death’ and many more.
His dyslexia did not stop him becoming a world class poet, in fact it probably contributed, giving him the creativity to try new styles and older Irish ones that had fallen out of use.
Happy Birthday W.B Yeats!