Kathryn Wills

Kathryn Wills


Research Title

A Study of Yves Bonnefoy’s Translations of Key Poems of W.B. Yeats, exploring their Interpretation of Yeatsian Concepts in the Light of Bonnefoy’s Literary and Theological Presupposition

Research Summary

My research focusses on the nature of the translations of key W.B. Yeats poems by Yves Bonnefoy who is a celebrated contemporary French poet. The translations are highly wrought and carefully thought out, to the extent that Bonnefoy writes a preface to his collection outlining his love of Yeats and his rationale for the translations. My thesis explores the implications of the changes Bonnefoy makes to the originals and on his engagement with Yeats. I examine how the theology and philosophy of Jean-Luc Marion illuminate these changes, and in particular interrogate the concept of the saturated object as idol and icon in connection with the images employed by both Yeats and Bonnefoy.


De Gruyter: Encyclopedia of the Bible and its Reception: article: “The Image of God in European Literature”. (Online: www.degruyter.com/db/ebr )




2015: Andrew Miller prize for Theology


Power of the Word, London, 2011: “The Dark God: T.S.Eliot and Paul Celan”

Power of the Word, Gdansk, 2013: “The Paradoxes of Yves Bonnefoy”

ISRLC Leuven, 2014: “Bonnefoy and Yeats: The Re-imagining of Human Transcendence”

Power of the Word, Rome, 2015: “Beatrice, Maud Gonne, and Douve in  Bonnefoy’s poetry in the light of Blanchot’s The Gaze of Orpheus”

The International Yeats Society, Limerick, 2015: “ ’The foul rag and bone shop’ of the heart’ to ‘le bazar de défroques du coeur’: Releasing Yeats’ Sacramental Acts in Yves Bonnefoy’s Translation of ‘The Circus Animals’ Desertion’”

ISRLC Glasgow, 2016: “Crossing the Threshold of Presence: Yeats, Bonnefoy, and the saturated object in the writings of Jean-Luc Marion”