In Ireland, Yeats is rightly regarded as the stately poet of the nation. In Britain he is regarded as a romantic, Irish dreamer. But the reality of his life, with its constant preoccupation with sex and the occult, was a good deal earthier.
The mystery of Yeats' final resting point crowns a life that was as full of farce as of verse. 'Under bare Ben Bulben's head, in Drumcliffe churchyard Yeats is laid,' the poet wrote as in his final year of life he began to stage his own self-mythologising funeral.
However, he died in France at the start of World War II and his 'remains' were not repatriated for many years. But many historians and critics believe that the body that came home to the strains of The Marseillaise and A Nation Once Again was that of an Englishman called Alf.
This film will examine the facts surrounding Yeats' original burial and subsequent repatriation to Ireland for the first ever time on television. And in doing so, we uncover a very different side of the great poet to the one we learnt about in our schooldays.Back to Arts New Season Highlights Back to RTÉ One Highlights