The Self among its objects
W. B. Yeats’s “A Dialogue of Self and Soul”
This article explores W. B. Yeats’s “A Dialogue of Self and Soul” as a space of irresolvable tension between the destitution of bodily life, imaged forth by the Soul, and the capacity of poetry to compensate for that destitution, which is projected by the Self. The analysis shows the poem to be a dense structure of mirror-like internal relations, primarily between the Self and Soul but also between the Self and the objects it chooses as opposition to the Soul’s vision. These lines of reflection, which carry the poem’s imaginative energy, will be investigated vis-à-vis Jacques Lacan’s theorisation of the ideas of the gaze and objet petit a.
Keywords: theory of literature, Yeats, Bloom, Lacan, twentieth century poetry
Published online: 28 April 2014