Seven Poems and a Fragment

Seven Poems and a Fragment (1922)

All Souls’ Night

Suggested by a Picture of a Black Centaur

Thoughts upon the Present State of the World

The New Faces

A Prayer for My Son

Cuchulain, the Girl, and the Fool

The Wheel

A New End for ‘The King’s Threshold’

Note on “Thoughts Upon the Present State of the World”

Note on The New End to “The King’s Threshold”

Here ends, ‘Seven Poems and a Frag-
ment.’ by William Butler Yeats: with
a decoration by T. Sturge Moore. Five
hundred copies of this book have been
printed and published by Elizabeth
Corbet Yeats on paper made in Ireland,
at the Cuala Press, Churchtown, Dun-
drum, in the County of Dublin, Ireland.
Finished in the third week of April in
the year nineteen hundred and twenty-two.

Seven Poems and a Fragment was published by Cuala Press in 1922. As displayed in the colophon above, the volume is presented as an item of nationalist pride and artistic value—constructed on Irish paper by an Irish
press. This self-consciously Irish construction roots the poems themselves in Irish identity as well. The small number of copies printed of the volume allows Seven Poems a feeling of exclusivity and value, a deliberate rejection of the modern mass-production of books.

An important element of the Cuala Press publications is the prominent inclusion of Notes on the text. These Notes are presented in the same character style as the rest of Seven Poems, assigning these Notes equal importance as the poems themselves. Even as Yeats publishes his poems, he is providing annotation and context, anticipating how his readers will absorb and interpret his art. Yeats’s emphasis on Notes suggests that his text is not a finished product, but an evolving and shifting piece of work.

Seven Poems and a Fragment‘s publication date in the third week of April, 1922 is emphasized as well. According to Bornstein, April of 1922 was a politically tumultuous era, in which the British granted authority to the Irish Free State and anti-Treaty IRA forces occupied Dublin. By self-consciously associating this volume with such a politically-fraught time in Irish politics, Yeats aligns Seven Poems and a Fragment with the idealism and disillusion of the Irish Free State.