In 1889, Yeats met Maud Gonne, a 23-year-old English heiress and ardent Irish Nationalist.  She was eighteen months younger than Yeats and later claimed she met the poet as a "paint-stained art student."  Gonne admired "The Island of Statues" and sought out his acquaintance. Yeats began an obsessive infatuation, and she had a significant and lasting effect on his poetry and his life thereafter.  In later years he admitted, "it seems to me that she [Gonne] brought into my life those days—for as yet I saw only what lay upon the surface—the middle of the tint, a sound as of a Burmese gong, an over-powering tumult that had yet many pleasant secondary notes."  Yeats's love was unrequited, in part due to his reluctance to participate in her nationalist activism.