The Yeats talk for SELFS happened on Wed 13 March to a packed house in the Old Kings Head Pub, Kings Head Yard, Borough High Street, Southwark.


I’d done it as a walk but not as a talk. I knew I could walk the talk but could I talk the walk?


It was good to beam the Isis-Urania Temple into the room. 36 Blythe Road is a legendary address. It remains open to the public in the form of a greasy spoon cafe. Note the synchronicity: George was the name of Yeats’s occult wife.


The tale of the Battle of Blythe Road was perhaps the centrepiece. The big question is: where is the Vault of the Adepti? Someone suggested it was last seen washed up on Brighton beach. I believe the remarkable poem ‘The Mountain Tomb’ may provide clues.


All the Yeatses turned out for the event. I compared Yeats to Ginsberg because they both had mothers who experienced severe mental health issues.


Thanks to Nigel of Bermondsey for the invitation and the hospitality. SELFS talks are ace. My final question to the audience went unanswered. What does Yeats mean by the phrase from his memoirs: “The right voice could empty London again”?

Photos: Frances Nutt

About Niall McDevitt

Niall McDevitt > poet > author of b/w (Waterloo Press, 2010) and Porterloo (International Times, 2012) > urban explorer > radical pedestrian who leads Shakespeare/Blake/Rimbaud /Yeats walks, among others.
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