In May 1916, 15 men were shot by the British government. They were the leaders of the Easter Rising – a doomed attempt to overthrow British rule in Ireland - and they were commemorated by W.B. Yeats in a poem called Easter 1916. It ends with the following lines: \ud \ud MacDonagh and MacBride\ud And Connolly and Pearse\ud Now and in time to be,\ud Wherever green is worn,\ud Are changed, changed utterly:\ud A terrible beauty is born. \ud \ud Yeats lived through decades of turbulence in Ireland. He saw the suspension of home rule, civil war and the division of the country, but how did the politics of the age imprint themselves on his poetry, what was the nature of Yeats’ own nationalism, and what did he mean by that most famous of phrases ‘a terrible beauty is born’?\ud Recording of the BBC Radio 4 'In Our Time' discussion on 'Yeats and Irish Politics' broadcast on 17 April 2008 (9.00-9.45am, repeated 9.30pm
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