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The Land of Heart's Desire   By: (1865-1939)

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The Land of Heart's Desire by William Butler Yeats is a beautiful and ethereal play that masterfully entwines folklore and love. Set in rural Ireland, it takes readers on a mesmerizing journey filled with magic, desire, and the pursuit of happiness.

Yeats' writing in this play is nothing short of enchanting. His vivid descriptions of the Irish countryside effortlessly transport readers to a realm where ancient legends and everyday lives intertwine. The atmosphere he creates is palpable, as if the reader too can feel the cool breeze and hear the whispers of the fairy folk.

At the center of this tale is the character of Maire Bruin, a young woman yearning for love and fulfillment. Through her encounters with the Sidhe, or fairy folk, Maire's journey becomes one of self-discovery and the pursuit of happiness. Yeats beautifully captures the complexity of human emotions and the vulnerabilities that come with desires. His exploration of love, both romantic and familial, adds layers of depth to the story, making it resonate with readers on a profound level.

The Land of Heart's Desire not only captivates readers with its poetic language and engaging storytelling, but also invites introspection into the nature of happiness and longing. It delves into themes such as the tension between the material world and the spiritual realm, the consequences of pursuing one's desires, and the role of fate in shaping our lives.

While the play may initially seem like a simple tale, Yeats' mastery lies in his ability to subtly navigate complex emotions and ideas. He seamlessly weaves elements of Irish folklore and mythology into the narrative, giving the story a timeless quality that transcends its original publication date. Drawing on Celtic traditions, he highlights the dichotomy between the mortal world and the realm of the Sidhe, questioning whether true happiness can ever be found in either.

One of the highlights of The Land of Heart's Desire is its powerful thematic contrast. Light and dark, joy and sorrow, dreams and reality are seamlessly juxtaposed throughout the play, leaving readers with a profound sense of both awe and melancholy. Yeats' exploration of the human condition is both poignant and thought-provoking, leaving readers pondering the deeper meaning of life and the pursuit of happiness.

In conclusion, The Land of Heart's Desire is a mesmerizing play that will transport readers to a world where magic and reality intertwine. Yeats' poetic language and skillful storytelling make this work a timeless gem. It is a tale that invites introspection and explores the complexities of human desires and the pursuit of true happiness. Whether you are a fan of folklore, love stories, or profound philosophical reflections, this play is sure to captivate and resonate with you long after you turn the final page.

First Page:

LITTLE BLUE BOOK NO. 335 Edited by E. Haldeman Julius

The Land of Heart's Desire

W.B. Yeats






The scene is laid in the Barony of Kilmacowen in the county of Sligo, and the time is the end of Eighteenth Century. The characters are supposed to speak in Gaelic.


The kitchen of MAURTEEN BRAIN'S house. An open grate with a turf fire is at the left side of the room, with a table in front of it. There is a door leading to the open air at the back, and another door a little to its left, leading into an inner room. There is a window, a settle, and a large dresser on the right side of the room, and a great bowl of primroses on the sill of the window. MAURTEEN BRUIN, FATHER HART; and BRIDGET BRUIN are sitting at the table. SHAWN BRUIN is setting the table for supper. MAIRE BRUIN sits on the settle reading a yellow manuscript.


Because I bade her go and feed the calves, She took that old book down out of the thatch And has been doubled over it all day. We would be deafened by her groans and moans Had she to work as some do, Father Hart, Get up at dawn like me, and mend and scour; Or ride abroad in the boisterous night like you, The pyx and blessed bread under your arm... Continue reading book >>

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