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Douglas Lee Saum

Douglas Lee Saum (b. 1950 - )


Born in Sidney, Nebraska 1950, graduated high school in Cincinnati, Ohio 1968, Saum collected his undergraduate and graduate degrees from The University of Nebraska at Kearney (1974, 1976). Now retired, he taught English to high school students for thirty-four years.  He currently resides in Reno NV where he is married to Judith, has two sons, four grandchildren and two cats. 


Saum’s first remembered contact with W. B. Yeats was in his senior year of high school when he was asked to read “The Lake Isle of Innisfree” and “The Wild Swans at Coole.”

He recalls being fascinated by the syntax of the first line of “Innisfree” repeating it over and over.  His Masters thesis is entitled “William Butler Yeats:  A Dialectical Analysis.”  After a visit by the muse (June 8, 1994), in 1996 Saum began putting the poems of W. B. Yeats to his original music.  In spring of 2015 he finished this music project having produced nine CD’s covering approximately 275 poems.  He has presented these songs at Yeats-related events in Reno, San Francisco, Chestertown NY, New York City, Sligo, etc.

Short Reviews

"Beautiful songs!" Tony Palmer, Filmmaker, Wagner, 200 Motels, All My Loving, Bird on a Wire, All You Need is Love . . . and many more.


“A new world of beauty and wonder . . .” Blair Jackson, Author of Garcia:  An American Life,  Going Down the Road:  A Grateful Dead Traveling Companion, Senior Editor Mix Magazine.


“Doug Saum is a resident of Reno, Nevada, who has compiled several CDs in which he has put the poetry of William Butler Yeats into song.  His renditions of the poems capture the essence of the work of Yeats.  Many have previously sought in vain to do this, and Saum has succeeded.”  Declan Foley, Editor, Beyond Ben Bulben (Australian Yeats Society)


“Yeats believed that every soul sings a ‘sweet crystalline cry.’  Here is music which has at its heart that clear and indomitable cry.” Donovan Welch, Poet


[Saum] “ . . . is utterly faithful in preserving these poems . . . has a knack, and obviously a passion, for taking Yeats’s stirring poetry and recasting not just the Irishman’s words but his spirit into . . . sounds that variously recall the Celtic-tinged folk rock of the Waterboys or the folky side of Neil Young.” Rick de Yampert, The News-Journal, Daytona, Florida


"Doug Saum’s music for Beautiful Lofty Things demonstrates perfectly how images function as the catylst for other art.  Think of  Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead or Ahab’s Wife, or more appropriately in this instance, what Beethoven did with Schiller’s poem". Richard Londraville, Author, Prodigal Father Revisited:  Artists and Writers in the World of John Butler Yeats