Innocence is one of the key themes we chose for this website (here’s why), and I believe Dante backs me up.  I mean innocence and not naivety, and see it as needing a form of resilience to be maintained in a human life despite being aware of and involved in the sometimes harsh realities of the world as it is. 

Here a striking line from Yeats’ ‘Prayer for my Daughter’:

The soul recovers radical innocence, / And learns at last that it is self-delighting, / Self-appeasing, self-affrighting. 

See a particularly touching example of what might qualify as ‘radical innocence’.  And here is the idea of spirited innocence as a healthy part of childhood; this by a woman whose life was an triumph of defending the right to innocence, including her own.  You may enjoy our quote-packed celebration of this masterful biography,

Source: W.B. Yeats, ‘A Prayer for my Daughter’

Seamus Heaney, Finders Keepers: Selected prose 1971-2001 (London: Faber and Faber, 2003), p. 144

Photo credit: Tyler Nix at unsplash and WFlore at pixabay

Quotation - Yeats - Prayer for my Daughter


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