Thursday, August 14, 2008

field trip: national library of Ireland

The National Library of Ireland offers a virtual exhibition of the life and times of William Butler Yeats. Early on, when I dreamed about the promise of the internet, this is close to the form it took.

The exhibit is built with flash technology that allows me to wander about the rooms of the library, stopping at will to look more closely at whatever catches my eye. There are various videos displaying original footage of the man and the Irish world he lived in and created.

You can also click on the interactive button at the bottom of the screen in case you think you might have missed something while maneuvering throughout the halls and rooms, such as a handwritten copy of "The Lake Isle of Innisfree' or the copy of William Blake's "The Marriage of Heaven and Hell," which is heavily annotated by Yeats.

I can't think of a better way for your students to get to the know the poet and the period of Irish literary culture he inspired.

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