"A PEAK OF ENGLISH POETRY"
YEATS, William Butler. The Winding Stair and Other Poems. London: Macmillan, 1933. Octavo, original blind-stamped green cloth, uncut, original dust jacket. $3000.
First English edition, substantially revised and expanded from the preceding limited edition of only 642 copies, in the original dust jacket, a beautiful copy.
Described, along with The Tower, as "the greatest poetry of Yeats in his difficult later manner… a peak in English poetry," The Winding Stair includes one of his most resonant poems, "A Dialogue of Self and Soul," as well as "Byzantium" and "Words for Music Perhaps" (Cyril Connolly, Modern Movement 56B). "Many critics have felt that Yeats' greatest achievement was the development of a symbolic language to express an equilibrium between the conflicting demands on the poet of the outside world and his art… This theme is central to the two volumes which are often thought to be Yeats' best, The Tower (1928) and The Winding Stair (1929)" (Hamilton, 595). Both titles refer to Thoor Ballylee, the Norman tower that Yeats purchased, restored and dedicated to his wife Georgie Hyde-Lees. Yeats was especially focused on the book's design and consulted with Thomas Sturge Moore, noting: "the winding stair of Ballylee enlarged in a symbol but you may not think the stair, even when a mere symbol, pictorial. It might be a mere gyre—Blake's design of Jacob's ladder." First edition, first printing. Sixteen poems from this work were previously published in the 1929 first edition; 47 poems first appeared in Yeats' 1932 Words for Music Perhaps. One of only 2000 copies printed. With tipped-in errata slip (p.85). Wade 169. Roth 225. Contemporary owner inscription dated year of publication. Bookseller ticket.
A splendid copy in fine condition.