Four Way Books Symposium

Daniel Tobin on Yeats and Intensity

Sunday, May 20, 2018
At the home of Cammy Thomas and Tony Siesfeld
70 North St.
Lexington, MA 02420

12:30-2 The Four Way Books Symposium

2:30-4 short readings, fast auction

refreshments and libations

A fundraiser to celebrate 25 years of excellent literary publishing

When we use the word “intense” we usually refer to an emotion, as in the last line of Philip Larkin’s poem, “Money”: “It is intensely sad.” In painting “intensity” refers to strength of color, particularly as a matter of contrast, and in the physical world the word refers to qualities of heat, light or sound. Etymologically, “intense” finds a common root with the word “intend,” which might put one in mind of Yeats’s famous aesthetic directive: to transform the “accidence” of the person who sits down to breakfast into the “something intended” that is the achieved poem. This conversation on craft will begin with a discussion of revising poems toward greater intensity by using one of Yeats’s own as an example. From there we will concentrate our discussion around three kinds of intensity: rhythmic, formal, and narrative. We’ll call upon other poems by Yeats, and other poets past and present, to illustrate. Handouts will be provided.

Symposium only: $75.00 Add to Cart

Entire afternoon: $100.00 Add to Cart

Readings only: $50.00 Add to Cart





Photo by Hamilton Magri


Daniel Tobin is the author of eight books of poems, most recently From Nothing winner of the Julia Ward Howe Award from the Boston Authors Club, and the forthcoming Blood Labors, both from Four Way Books. He is also the author of several scholarly studies including Passage to the Center: Imagination and the Sacred in the Poetry of Seamus Heaney, Awake in America: on Irish American Poetry, and the forthcoming On Serious Earth. His awards and fellowships include the The Discovery/The Nation Award, the Massachusetts Book Award, and a John Simon Guggenheim Foundation fellowship, among many others. He is a professor at Emerson College.