W.B. Yeats spent much of his childhood in Sligo and wrote many poems about it and it’s beauty. Born in Dublin in 1865, Yeats grew up and was educated in Ireland and London where he studied painting before discovering poetry was his true calling.
His writing at the turn of the century drew extensively from sources in Irish mythology and folklore. Also a potent influence on his poetry was the Irish revolutionary Maud Gonne, whom he met in 1889, a woman equally famous for her passionate nationalist politics and her beauty. Though she married another man in 1903 and grew apart from Yeats (and Yeats himself was eventually married to another woman, Georgie Hyde Lees), she remained a powerful figure in his poetry.
W. B. Yeats was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1923 and died in 1939 at the age of 73.
Sligo houses both Yeats’ grave at Drumcliffe and a heritage museum dedicated to him located in the town centre.
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