The life and work of Nobel laureate WB Yeats holds a particular place in hearts and imaginations across the world. Beyond Ireland – where Yeats is a kind of unofficial national poet – his work echoes in profound ways. In places beyond easy comprehension.Beyond the rational mind. In the places where poetry truly lives and breathes.

Commissioned for the Arts Council’s Reel Art scheme, this film is a response to that vast body of work. A visual – and avowedly experimental – ‘film-poem’, to coin an uneasy term. Using solely the words of WB Yeats, we attempted to take the viewer on a cinematic journey of sorts into Yeats’ extraordinary imagination. It is a biography of a kind, but not in any conventional way. Yet, beyond Yeats’ popular profile and his cultural tourist caché, little is really known of his complex life, despite having articulated it so completely, so creatively. In so many ways, Yeats dreamt up his life. He fashioned his own majestic screenplay and we are – endlessly – the beneficiaries.

Film-maker’s statement

 Reel Art is an Arts Council scheme designed to provide film artists with a unique opportunity to make highly creative, imaginative and experimental documentaries on an artistic theme.