Scholars and critics commonly align W. B. Yeats with Ezra Pound, T. S. Eliot and the modernist movement at large. This incisive study from renowned poetry critic Edna Longley argues that Yeats' presence and influence in modern poetry have been sorely misunderstood. Longley disputes the value of modernist critical paradigms and suggests alternative perspectives for interpreting Yeats - perspectives based on his own criticism, and on how Ireland shaped both his criticism and his poetry. Close readings of particular poems focus on structure, demonstrating how radically Yeats' approach to poetic form differs from that of Pound and Eliot. Longley discusses other twentieth-century poets in relation to Yeats' insistence on tradition, and offers valuable insights into the work of Edward Thomas, Wallace Stevens, Wilfred Owen, Hugh MacDiarmid, W. H. Auden, Louis MacNeice, Geoffrey Hill, Philip Larkin and Ted Hughes. Her postscript addresses key issues in contemporary poetry by taking a fresh look at Yeats's enduring legacy.