Edited by William H. O'Donnell
The Cornell Yeats edition of the poetry collection, Responsibilities, features the only surviving example of Ezra Pound and the author collaboratively revising a poem by Yeats. Working on a set of page proofs of "The Two Kings"—one of the poems in the volume—while they shared Stone Cottage in Sussex during the winter of 1913–1914, Pound wrote proposed revisions and Yeats then reacted to them, accepting some, changing some, and rejecting some.
This process of collaborative revision is a precursor of Pound's more extensive marking, nearly a decade later, of T. S. Eliot's The Waste Land. Responsibilities is also of particular interest for its inclusion of a group of poems written about the highly public controversy over the attempts to build a Dublin Modern Art Gallery. Yeats wrote a long, detailed note in 1914 to explain the political background of the poems in this volume. The drafts of the note's sometimes caustic phrasing have survived and are included here.