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“Away, come away”: Moving Dead Women and Irish Emigration in W. B. Yeats’s Early Poetry

Hannah Simpson
p. 45-60


Bien que l’Irlande et l’émigration soient intimement liées dans l’imaginaire culturel, peu d’études se sont intéressées à l’émigration dans la poésie de W. B. Yeats. J’utilise le prisme de l’émigration pour aborder un autre phénomène peu étudié dans la première poésie de Yeats : le corps féminin mort mais mouvant. Dans la deuxième moitié du xixsiècle, un nombre inédit de jeunes femmes célibataires quittèrent l’Irlande, et ce taux d’émigration élevé de femmes irlandaises peut se lire en parallèle de la récurrence de femmes mortes ou surnaturelles en mouvement qui peuplent la poésie de Yeats avant 1900.

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Ce document sera publié en ligne en texte intégral en juin 2019.


Emigration and the Irish Woman in Contemporary Discourse
Yeats’s Domestic Woman and “The Ballad of Moll Magee”
Domestic Space in “To an Isle in the Water”
Leaving the Domestic Space in “The Heart of the Woman”
Restricting Female Movement in “He wishes his Beloved were Dead”
Menacing Allure in “The Hosting of the Sidhe”

Aperçu du texte

Emigration and Ireland are closely entwined in historical and contemporary public consciousness. Fintan O’Toole declares that Irish culture “is not just marked, but actually defined, by the perpetual motion of the people who bear it. Emigration and exile, the journies [sic] to and from home, are the very heartbeat of Irish culture”. Jim MacLaughlin laments precisely this romanticising style of discourse as sanitising the suffering that frequently lay behind historical emigration; he bemoans the tendency to treat emigration “as a cultural tradition and a ‘peculiarity’ of the Irish […] simply as an expression of an institutionalised ideology” rather than a phenomenon frequently driven by historical hardship. Despite the critical engagement with this cultural intertwining of the Irish and emigration, however, and despite the historically unsurpassed level of Irish emigration that occurred in the latter half of the nineteenth century, little scholarly work has been produced regarding W....

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Référence papier

Hannah Simpson, « “Away, come away”: Moving Dead Women and Irish Emigration in W. B. Yeats’s Early Poetry », Études irlandaises, 42-1 | 2017, 45-60.

Référence électronique

Hannah Simpson, « “Away, come away”: Moving Dead Women and Irish Emigration in W. B. Yeats’s Early Poetry », Études irlandaises [En ligne], 42-1 | 2017, mis en ligne le 29 juin 2019, consulté le 17 décembre 2017. URL : ; DOI : 10.4000/etudesirlandaises.5101

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Hannah Simpson

Hannah Simpson is a PhD student in English Literature at St. Cross College, University of Oxford. Her thesis explores the representation of physical pain in post-WWII theatre and choreography, focusing on the work of Jean Genet, Samuel Beckett and Tatsumi Hijikata. An interest in disability and gender theory undergirds her work, and W. B. Yeats is proving a recurrent procrastination from her thesis. She has articles published in Comparative Drama and Warwick Exchanges, and forthcoming in Variations and the Journal of Modern Literature.

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