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Lionel Pigot Johnson

Poetry and Ireland

W. B. Yeats, 1865-1939.
Lionel Pigot Johnson, 1867-1902.
Poetry and Ireland: Essays by W. B. Yeats and Lionel Johnson Churchtown, Dundrum: Cuala Press, 1908;
reprint, Shannon: T. M. MacGlinchey for Irish University Press, 1970.
Special Collections, Golda Meir Library
(SPL) PR 8761 .Y4 1970

Johnson became a member, along with Yeats, of the Rhymers’ Club in the early 1890s. Several of its members had Irish roots and their influence helped strengthen Yeats’s devotion to the rich past of his country. Though born and raised in England, Johnson proudly proclaimed his Celtic ancestry throughout his adult life, devoting much of his writing to Irish themes. Most notable are two volumes entitled, Ireland with Other Poems (1897) and Poetry and Ireland (shown here).


Lionel Pigot Johnson, 1867-1902.

London: Elkin Mathews, 1895.
Special Collections, Golda Meir Library
(SPL) PR 4826 .J5 1895

Yeats especially admired Johnson’s early work, including his first book of poetry, Poems (shown here), which many critics agree includes his finest work. The close friendship between Yeats and Johnson came to a tragic end in 1902 when Johnson, a heavy drinker, fell and fractured his skull.