Introduction to W.B. Yeats and Irish mythology, May 7-28
7:00-8:30 p.m. Monday, May 7, 14, 21, and 28 (4 sessions). Class fee: $80 or $72 if you email the instructor to pre-register. Instructor: Dr. Patrick O'Donnell. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Learn how the multi-talented genius, William Butler Yeats (1865-1939), employed Irish mythology as inspirational source material to spark into being the Irish Literary Renaissance from 1885-1939, to write profound mystical Irish poetry, and to craft plays of heroic dignity. The course will broadly survey the key narrative cycles of Irish mythology highlighting such central figures as Balor of the Evil Eye, Lugh of the Long Hand, the Children of Lir, Deirdre of the Sorrows, Cuchulainn, Maeve, Finn McCool, and the Sons of Uisneach. It will then focus in on the specific mythic characters that illuminate the writing of Yeats. [Course text: Over Nine Waves: A Book of Irish Legends by Marie Heaney. [Any edition]]
Although busy as the Celtic Junction Art Center's Director of Education and the founder and Director of the Irish Fair's annual St. Paul Irish Arts Week (since 2016), Dr. Patrick O’Donnell, a Professor of English at Normandale Community College and founder of the Celtic Collaborative literary arts nonprofit, is particularly passionate about Ireland’s extraordinarily complex, multidimensional and rich literary history. His course will look at the influence of Irish mythology on the imagination of the great W.B. Yeats. Students will learn about both the cycles of mythic narrative and the work, life, and surprising creative metamorphoses of the Nobel Prize-winning poet. No previous knowledge of either W.B. Yeats or Irish mythology is necessary.