On Being Asked For A War Poem

On Being Asked For A War Poem

"On being asked for a War Poem" is a poem by William Butler Yeats written on February 6, 1915 in response to a request by Henry James that Yeats compose a political poem about World War I. Yeats changed the poem's title from "To a friend who has asked me to sign his manifesto to the neutral nations" to "A Reason for Keeping Silent" before sending it in a letter to James, which Yeats wrote at Coole Park on August 20, 1915. The poem was prefaced with a note stating: "It is the only thing I have written of the war or will write, so I hope it may not seem unfitting." The poem was first published in Edith Wharton's The Book of the Homeless in 1916 as "A Reason for Keeping Silent". When it was later reprinted in The Wild Swans at Coole, the title was changed to "On being asked for a War Poem".

Read more about On Being Asked For A War Poem:  Yeats and World War I, Poem Text

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