ABSTRACT

For a monoglot Yeats notched-up a surprising number of important translation credits. As well as the Irish folklore considered in the last chapter, and two late translations (of translations) of the Oedipus plays, he worked to improve Rabindranath Tagore’s translation of Gitanjali (1912), offered advice to Ezra Pound on the Ernest Fenollosa manuscript for the twin 1916 publications Certain Noble Plays of Japan and Noh or Accomplishment: A Study of the Classical Stage of Japan, and ‘[p]ut into English’ a new abridged version of the Upanishads with Shri Purohit Swãmi (1937).1 Since these were all works of adaptation or collaboration, we may be inclined to dismiss out of hand the notion that the English-fixated Yeats was a translator at all. However, it will be my argument in this chapter that the work of translation haunts the poet, not only as a self-

professed Irish writer writing in English, but also as a writer cast upon the swelling tide of world English in the early twentieth century.