Poet Eamonn Wall, the Smurfit-Stone Corporation Endowed Professor in Irish Studies at UMSL, recently discussed W.B. Yeats for a St. Louis Public Radio segment on National Poetry Month and an event put on by the St. Louis Poetry Center.

Native Irish poet Eamonn Wall holds a special place in his heart for William Butler Yeats.

“I think in some ways, W.B. Yeats’ poetry is kind of the soundtrack of childhood and adolescence in Ireland,” Wall said on a recent episode of “Cityscape” on St. Louis Public Radio | 90.7 KWMU.

“Having grown up in Ireland and having experienced it, ” he added, “Yeats was and remains a national treasure – the national poet of Ireland.”

Wall, the Smurfit-Stone Corporation Endowed Professor in Irish Studies at the University of Missouri–St. Louis, is one of several poets that will recite Yeats’ work at 4 p.m. Sunday (April 22) at Blueberry Hill, 6504 Delmar Blvd. in University City, Mo. The reading is a National Poetry Month event. Admission is $50 for the reading, which will benefit the St. Louis Poetry Center.

Wall gave “Cityscape” listeners a sample of the event with an on-air reading of Yeats’ 1917 poem “The Wild Swans at Coole.”

“It’s one of his most beautiful and poignant poems because he’s working with the idea of things being constant, but also the possibility that things will fall apart,” Walls said on “Cityscape.” “So it’s a poem of great celebration and a kind of heartache as well, I think.”

Wall has also published a large body of original work, including his most recent collection of poetry, “Sailing Lake Mareotis.” The poems in the book navigate back and forth between cities and rural spaces, America and Ireland, the ancient and modern, and the classroom and home.

One of Wall’s poems from “Sailing Lake Mareotis,” “The Last Cricket of the Season,” was featured on Poetry Daily in February. Each day, the website selects and posts an original poem recently published in a book or literary journal. It also includes information on the poet and a link to the publisher.

“Poetry Daily has a large and influential readership, so I was thrilled that a poem from my new book was picked,” Wall said. “To be selected is an honor in itself, and it is also great publicity for my new book.”

Ryan Heinz

Ryan Heinz

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