Drumcliffe Churchyard and W.B. Yeats


WB Yeats is synonymous with Sligo. Everything from housing estates to football teams are named after the poet but the focus of all things Yeats remains his grave at St Columba's Church, Drumcliffe. The grave is simple with the celebrated quote engraved on plain limestone;

Cast a cold eye

On life, on Death

Horseman pass by!

Living in Drumcliff breeds a familiarity with the churchyard that leads to objectivity being lost when considering the Yeats experience at St Columba's. So I consulted Trip Advisor to get a flavour of how visitors describe their encounter at Yeats' grave.

There are two types of visitors, Yeats fans and passing tourists. For fans it is a pilgrimage and poetic nirvana urging others to "Stop a while. Be mindful. Let the presence seep in." They rejoice at the lack of commercialisation, the area's beauty and quiet serenity. A few others see it as "rather anti-climatic" and the "grave is ok, the church nice". However all are enchanted by the beautiful views of Ben Bulben and highly praise the adjoining Drumcliffe Tea House and Craft Shop. Well done Jill!

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