W.B. Keats (1865-1939)
William Keats was born in a Protestant family in Dublin and today he is considered one of the major poets of the 20th century. He was a very versatile poet who used an evocative and suggestive language. His first collections concentrate on Irish legends and folktales, an important part of the Irish heritage and important for reviving Irish identity. During this period his style was strongly influenced by Romanticism and the symbolic paintings of Pre-Raphaelites. The themes of his works are magic and mystical.
His style changed from the 1900 to 1914 with a more realistic type of poetry, with political and social themes. This period was strongly influenced by the Irish society and the quest for Irish independence.
An example of the realistic style of Keats is the poem "Easter 1916": in this poem Yeats focused on the Irish rebellion known as the Easter Rising. On Easter Monday 1916 a rebellion took place in Dublin, at the General Post Office by an extremist group known as Sinn Fein, who declared Ireland a free republic. The revolt failed in fact the English police stopped the rebellion and 15 people were executed. With this poets Keats wanted to remember the people who lost their life to Irish question but he also expresses his ambivalent attitude towards patriotism.