William Butler Yeats was an Irish poet and playwright, and one of the foremost . this period that he started writing poetry, and, in , Yeats' first poems, as. Selected Poetry by William Butler Yeats did you know? William Butler Yeats • performed poorly in high school because he daydreamed. • studied magic as a. Collected Poems. William Butler Yeats. This web edition published by [email protected] Adelaide. Last updated Wednesday, December 17, at To the best of .
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Project Gutenberg · 59, free ebooks · 51 by W. B. Yeats. Poems by W. B. Yeats. Book Cover. Download; Bibrec. Yeats, W. B. (William Butler), ·. The collected poems of W.B. Yeats. Includes indexes. 1. Finneran, Richard J. II. Title. PR5goo.A3 b. ' Yeats gaulecvebota.tk - Download as PDF File .pdf), Text File .txt) or read online. poetry.
That, however, seemed a vague dream once Ireland still remained under British rule. Maybe that was the greatest motivation to make the Irish teacher, poet and writer shift his pen for a gun. Mythical in the sense that the heroes from their folklore would be part of their imagery again.
Yeats mentions he was a helper because he joined the staff of teachers at St. Yeats continues the stanza talking about the participants of the Rising; however, he changes from a praising allusion to MacDonagh to an almost degraded reference to John MacBride. The hostile description performed by Yeats has its roots mainly based on his previous relation with John MacBride.
Roy Foster also comments on that matter. Gonne goes on with her criticism towards MacBride and the male nationalist that thought she should put up with it.
Yeats starts the third stanza with a different approach. The horse that comes from the road. The indications of such changes are made by means of a sequence of metaphors. According to Eagleton, Yeats also has the objective of mythologizing both the event and the participants.
In Eagleton view: The point of the overall metaphor of the stanza is to sustain this duality of vision: to urge at once the living process of the event 'history' and its strange, stone-like inscrutability 'myth'. The metaphor, that is, dignifies but also withdraws the historical experience, gracing and stylising the bloody events while holding them simultaneously at arm's length EAGLETON, , p.
It seems that there is a pursuit to conform history to myth, and vice versa. It is done in a sort of dialogue among them. Another aspect worth mentioning is the emphasis on time, a little fraction of the time. The repetition brings the sensation of the change, as a sudden process that was operated on that week.
Yeats talks about the sacrifice, not only of the one made by the participants of the Easter Rising but he seems to evoke all the others that died for the same cause before them.
In these lines, Yeats shows the strong feeling of helplessness face to one more sacrifice. To mourn the deaths is what is left for those that have not seen any effective sign of independence. His anger is present but maybe also a little of his disagreement in relation to the foundation of the Rising, that is, the use of violence and sacrifice.
That can be perceived in his question that could be interpreted as rhetorical one. All the names presented in these last lines were present in an indirect way in the second stanza of this poem, except James Connolly. Maud Gonne would continue to turn Yeats proposals down, yet she continued to be the catalyst for the finest love poetry Yeats would ever create.
Gonne would once ask for Yeats's help in London, ending a brief but happy love affair with Olivia Shakespear.
Yeats really loved Maud Gonne. She was the love of his life, and still, she would never really react to, let alone return his love. Yeats has experienced the many different facets of love through this continuous interaction between his everlasting true and sincere affection and dedication and her cold and calculating rejection.
Yeats managed to deal with all his positive and negative experiences in a productive way and included them into his poetry. Maud Gonne once even said to him that she could not stop rejecting him as he would not write such beautiful poetry about her anymore then. In some poems, Yeats describes it as an almost divine power.
In other poems, he starts doubting whether love is really that fulfilling or not. And in further poems, he even focuses on the dark and destructive sides of love. These different concepts of love will be described in this paper through the analysis of selected poems. He expresses his affection for Maud Gonne in a very intimate way.
He depicts love in an optimistic, dreamy and almost idealistic way. Here, he describes real love not as something temporary but everlasting. It is the strong connection between two human beings that belong together, and this connection will never end. Commentary Adams Curse is an extraordinary poem; though it was written early in Yeatss career appearing in his collection In the Seven Woods , and though its stylistic simplicity is somewhat atypical for Yeats, it Rozi Khan E-mail: rozikhan hotmail.
Page 6 easily ranks among his best and most moving work.
Within an emotional recollection of an evening spent with his beloved and her friend, Yeats frames a philosophical argument: that because of the curse of labor that God placed upon Adam when He expelled him from the Garden of Eden, every worthwhile human achievement particularly those aimed at achieving beauty, whether in poetry, physical appearance, or love requires hard work.
The simple, speech-like rhythms of the iambic pentameter fulfill the poets dictate that a poetic line should seem but a moments thought, and the bitter sweet emotional tone appears wholly organic, a natural result of the recollection. The speaker loves the woman to whom the poem is addressed, and speaks only for [her] ears; but though the scene seems happy, their hearts are as weary as shells worn by the waters of time.
Behind the natural, unsophisticated feel of the poem, of course, lies a great deal of hard work and structurejust as the poems speaker says must be true of poetry generally. One of the most charming aspects of this poem is its mirroring of the aesthetic principles laid out by the speaker in the first stanza. The discussion of work and beauty is divided into three progressive parts: the speakers claims about poetry, the friends claims about physical beauty, and the speakers claims about love.
This last claim affords Yeats the chance both to hush the trio and to soften the mood of the poem, and the speaker looks outward to the rising moon, which becomes a metaphor for the effects of time on the human heart, a weariness presumably compounded by the labor of living since Adams fall.
The Wild Swans at Coole Summary With the trees in their autumn beauty, the speaker walks down the dry woodland paths to the water, which mirrors the still October twilight of the sky. Upon the water float nine-and-fifty swans. The speaker says that his heart is sore, for after nineteen autumns of watching and being cheered by the swans, he finds that everything in his life has changed.
The swans, though, are still unwearied, and they paddle by in the water or fly by in the air in pairs, lover by lover. Their hearts, the speaker says, have not grown cold, and wherever they go they are attended by passion or conquest. But now, as they drift over the still water, they are Mysterious, beautiful, and the speaker wonders where they will build their nests, and by what lakes edge or pool they will delight mens eyes, when he awakes one morning to find that they have flown away.
Form The Wild Swans at Coole is written in a very regular stanza form: five six-line stanzas, each written in a roughly iambic meter, with the first and third lines in tetrameter, the second, fourth, and sixth lines in trimeter, and the fifth line in pentameter, so that the pattern of stressed syllables in each stanza is Commentary One of the most unusual features of Yeatss poetic career is the fact that the poet came into his greatest powers only as he neared old age; whereas many poets fade after the first burst of youth, Yeats continued to grow more confident and more innovative with his writing until almost the day he died.
Though he was a famous and successful writer in his youth, his poetic reputation today is founded almost solely on poems written after he was fifty. He is thus the great poet of old age, writing honestly and with astonishing force about the pain of times passage and feeling that the ageless heart was fastened to a dying animal, as he wrote in Sailing to Byzantium.
The great struggle that enlivens many of Yeatss best poems is the struggle to uphold the integrity of the soul, and to preserve the minds connection to the deep hearts core, despite physical decay and the pain of memory. The Wild Swans at Coole, part of the collection of the same name, is one of Yeatss earliest and most moving testaments to the heart-ache of living in a time when alls changed. And when Yeats says Rozi Khan E-mail: rozikhan hotmail.
Page 7 Alls changed, changed utterly in the fifteen years since he first saw the swans, he means itthe First World War and the Irish civil war both occurred during these years. The simple narrative of the poem, recounting the poets trips to the lake at Augusta Gregorys Coole Park residence to count the swans on the water, is given its solemn serenity by the beautiful nature imagery of the early stanzas, the plaintive tone of the poet, and the carefully constructed poetic stanzathe two trimeter lines, which give the poet an opportunity to utter short, heartfelt statements before a long silence ensured by the short line Their hearts have not grown old The speaker, caught up in the gentle pain of personal memory, contrasts sharply with the swans, which are treated as symbols of the essential: their hearts have not grown old; they are still attended by passion and conquest.
He says that he does not hate those he fights, nor love those he guards. His country is Kiltartans Cross, his countrymen Kiltartans poor. He says that no outcome in the war will make their lives worse or better than before the war began. He says that he did not decide to fight because of a law or a sense of duty, nor because of public men or cheering crowds.
Rather, a lonely impulse of delight drove him to this tumult in the clouds. The poem, which, like flying, emphasizes balance, essentially enacts a kind of accounting, whereby the airman lists every factor weighing upon his situation and his vision of death, and rejects every possible factor he believes to be false: he does not hate or love his enemies or his allies, his country will neither be benefited nor hurt by any outcome of the war, he does not fight for political or moral motives but because of his impulse of delight; his past life seems a waste, his future life seems that it would be a waste, and his death will balance his life.
Complementing this kind of tragic arithmetic is the neatly balanced structure of the poem, with its cycles of alternating rhymes and its clipped, stoical meter. The best people, the speaker says, lack all conviction, but the worst are full of passionate intensity. Surely, the speaker asserts, the world is near a revelation; Surely the Second Coming is at hand. The darkness drops again over the speakers sight, but he knows that the sphinxs twenty Rozi Khan E-mail: rozikhan hotmail. Page 8 centuries of stony sleep have been made a nightmare by the motions of a rocking cradle.
Form The Second Coming is written in a very rough iambic pentameter, but the meter is so loose, and the exceptions so frequent, that it actually seems closer to free verse with frequent heavy stresses.
The rhymes are likewise haphazard; apart from the two couplets with which the poem opens, there are only coincidental rhymes in the poem, such as man and sun. Commentary Because of its stunning, violent imagery and terrifying ritualistic language, The Second Coming is one of Yeatss most famous and most anthologized poems; it is also one of the most thematically obscure and difficult to understand. It is safe to say that very few people who love this poem could paraphrase its meaning to satisfaction.
Structurally, the poem is quite simplethe first stanza describes the conditions present in the world things falling apart, anarchy, etc. This brief exposition, though intriguingly blasphemous, is not terribly complicated; but the question of what it should signify to a reader is another story entirely.
Yeats spent years crafting an elaborate, mystical theory of the universe that he described in his book A Vision. This theory issued in part from Yeatss lifelong fascination with the occult and mystical, and in part from the sense of responsibility Yeats felt to order his experience within a structured belief system. The system is extremely complicated and not of any lasting importanceexcept for the effect that it had on his poetry, which is of extraordinary lasting importance. The theory of history Yeats articulated in A Vision centers on a diagram made of two conical spirals, one inside the other, so that the widest part of one of the spirals rings around the narrowest part of the other spiral, and vice versa.
Yeats believed that this image he called the spirals gyres captured the contrary motions inherent within the historical process, and he divided each gyre into specific regions that represented particular kinds of historical periods and could also represent the psychological phases of an individuals development.
The Second Coming was intended by Yeats to describe the current historical moment the poem appeared in in terms of these gyres.
Yeats believed that the world was on the threshold of an apocalyptic revelation, as history reached the end of the outer gyre to speak roughly and began moving along the inner gyre. In his definitive edition of Yeatss poems, Richard J. Finneran quotes Yeatss own notes: The end of an age, which always receives the revelation of the character of the next age, is represented by the coming of one gyre to its place of greatest expansion and of the other to its place of greatest contraction The revelation [that] approaches will In other words, the worlds trajectory along the gyre of science, democracy, and heterogeneity is now coming apart, like the frantically widening flight-path of the falcon that has lost contact with the falconer; the next age will take its character not from the gyre of science, democracy, and speed, but from the contrary inner gyrewhich, presumably, opposes mysticism, primal power, and slowness to the science and democracy of the outer gyre.
The rough beast slouching toward Bethlehem is the symbol of this new age; the speakers vision of the rising sphinx is his vision of the character of the new world. This seems quite silly as philosophy or prophecy particularly in light of the fact that it has not come true as yet. But as poetry, and understood more broadly than as a simple reiteration of the mystic theory of A Vision, The Second Coming is a magnificent statement about the contrary forces at work in history, and about the conflict between the modern world and the ancient world.
The poem may not have the thematic relevance of Yeatss best work, and may not be a poem with which many people can personally identify; but the aesthetic experience of its passionate language is powerful enough to ensure its value and its importance in Yeatss work as a whole. It talks about ideas from the book of revelations. In revelations an angel "opened an abyss" Revelation in which Yeats describes a "widening gyre"- a deep and bottomless pit.
The bible also describes the world in its last days filled with: "abomination filled with desolation ". Yeats also describes a world filled with chaos: "falcon cannot hear the falconer, anarchy, innocence drowned, best lack all conviction, blood- dimmed tide, and passionate intensity". The bible also refers to two witnesses, men, who "have power to turn waters into blood" Rev. This correlates what Yeats describes as a "blood-dimmed tide" as punishment from God, a mass number of death.
Yeats also mentions the sun to be "blank and pitiless" which in the bible says" the sun turned black like a sackcloth made of goat hair" Rev. The beast is actually Satan, or the devil. In revelations he is "the great dragon A rocking cradle signifies something to be born, the beast is awaiting not Jesus return but the birth of the anti-Christ in Bethlehem. He had two horns like a lamb, but he spoke like a dragon. The second beast or anti-Christ , is to be born in Bethlehem because the anti-Christ mimicks Jesus himself in "performing great and miraculous signs, even causing fire to come down from heaven to Earth in full view of Earth Sailing to Byzantium Summary The speaker, referring to the country that he has left, says that it is no country for old men: it is full of youth and life, with the young lying in one anothers arms, birds singing in the trees, and fish swimming in the waters.
There, all summer long the world rings with the sensual music that makes the young neglect the old, whom the speaker describes as Monuments of unageing intellect. An old man, the speaker says, is a paltry thing, merely a tattered coat upon a stick, unless his soul can clap its hands and sing; and the only way for the soul to learn how to sing is to study monuments of its own magnificence.
Commentary Sailing to Byzantium is one of Yeatss most inspired works, and one of the greatest poems of the twentieth century. Written in and included in Yeatss greatest single collection, s The Tower, Sailing to Byzantium is Yeatss definitive statement about the agony of old age and the imaginative and spiritual work required to remain a vital individual even when the heart is fastened to a dying animal the body.
Yeatss solution is to leave the country of the young and travel to Byzantium, where the sages in the citys famous gold mosaics completed mainly during the sixth and seventh centuries could become Rozi Khan E-mail: rozikhan hotmail.
P a g e 10 the singing-masters of his soul. He hopes the sages will appear in fire and take him away from his body into an existence outside time, where, like a great work of art, he could exist in the artifice of eternity. In the astonishing final stanza of the poem, he declares that once he is out of his body he will never again appear in the form of a natural thing; rather, he will become a golden bird, sitting on a golden tree, singing of the past what is past , the present that which is passing , and the future that which is to come.
A fascination with the artificial as superior to the natural is one of Yeatss most prevalent themes. In a much earlier poem, s The Lover Tells of the Rose in His Heart, the speaker expresses a longing to re-make the world in a casket of gold and thereby eliminate its ugliness and imperfection. Later, in s The Dolls, the speaker writes of a group of dolls on a shelf, disgusted by the sight of a human baby.
In each case, the artificial the golden casket, the beautiful doll, the golden bird is seen as perfect and unchanging, while the natural the world, the human baby, the speakers body is prone to ugliness and decay. What is more, the speaker sees deep spiritual truth rather than simply aesthetic escape in his assumption of artificiality; he wishes his soul to learn to sing, and transforming into a golden bird is the way to make it capable of doing so.
Sailing to Byzantium is an endlessly interpretable poem, and suggests endlessly fascinating comparisons with other important poemspoems of travel, poems of age, poems of nature, poems featuring birds as symbols.
One of the most interesting is surely Keatss Ode to a Nightingale, to which this poem is in many ways a rebuttal: Keats writes of his nightingale, Thou wast not born for death, immortal Bird! It is important to note that the poem is not autobiographical; Yeats did not travel to Byzantium which was renamed Constantinople in the fourth century A.
The poem is about an imaginative journey, not an actual one. Leda and the Swan Summary The speaker retells a story from Greek mythology, the rape of the girl Leda by the god Zeus, who had assumed the form of a swan. Leda felt a sudden blow, with the great wings of the swan still beating above her.
Her thighs were caressed by the dark webs, and the nape of her neck was caught in his bill; he held her helpless breast upon his breast.
How, the speaker asks, could Ledas terrified vague fingers push the feathered glory of the swan from between her thighs?
And how could her body help but feel the strange heart beating where it lies? A shudder in the loins engenders The broken wall, the burning roof and tower, and Agamemnon dead. The speaker wonders whether Leda, caught up by the swan and mastered by the brute blood of the air, assumed his knowledge as well as his power Before the indifferent beak could let her drop.
Form Leda and the Swan is a sonnet, a traditional fourteen-line poem in iambic pentameter. The structure of this sonnet is Petrarchan with a clear separation between the first eight lines the octave and the final six the sestet , the dividing line being the moment of ejaculationthe shudder in the loins.
Commentary Like The Second Coming, Leda and the Swan describes a moment that represented a change of era in Yeatss historical model of gyres, which he offers in A Vision, his mystical theory of the universe. The details of the story of the Trojan War are quite elaborate: briefly, the Greek Helen, the most beautiful woman in the world, was kidnapped by the Trojans, so the Rozi Khan E-mail: rozikhan hotmail.
P a g e 11 Greeks besieged the city of Troy; after the war, Clytemnestra, the wife of the Greek leader Agamemnon, had her husband murdered. Here, however, it is important to know only the wars lasting impact: it brought about the end of the ancient mythological era and the birth of modern history.