Mortality, and the worth of human life, are among the major themes of the poem. Several poems in those collections use style as their subject. In the last verse of When you are Old, William Butler Yeats uses personification of love to enhance the image of the late lover waiting for the elderly woman. First, we will offer some relevant and helpful background information. I must admit, I was the same before I began studying his work.
Yeats to John O'Leary and His Sister, edited by Allan Wade, New York Public Library, 1953. William Butler Yeats is a great figure in the history of Irish poetry and playwriting. Applying this pattern both to historical eras and to individuals' lives, Yeats observed that a person completes the phases as he advances from birth to maturity and declines toward death. Yeats, edited by Richard J. Sidnell, Cornell University Press, 1981. This is where poets use their imaginations to entertain us with what they see as life after death. Most people have known at least one person so elderly that they cannot stay awake for many hours in the day.
Yeats further elaborated the scheme by assigning particular phases to specific types of personality, so that although each person passes through phases two through 14 and 16 through 28 during a lifetime, one phase provides an overall characterization of the individual's entire life. A past lover whispers to her as she looks through a photo album. Yeats had proposed to Maud Gonne, a beautiful, rich and brainy feminist, in 1891 and many times after that but had been rejected. Instead of hurling bitter allegations at her for not returning his love, he makes an unobtrusive declaration of his devotion. In Dublin, where Yeats had assumed permanent residence in 1922 after maintaining a home for 30 years in London , the government even posted armed sentries at his door. When You Are Old by William Butler Yeats Poetry Foundation agenda angle-down angle-left angleRight arrow-down arrowRight bars calendar caret-down cart children highlight learningResources list mapMarker openBook p1 pin poetry-magazine print quoteLeft quoteRight slideshow tagAudio tagVideo teens trash-o.
Aedh appears in several works by Yeats as a pale and lovelorn man. He faced death with a courage that was founded partly on his vague hope for reincarnation and partly on his admiration for the bold heroism that he perceived in Ireland in both ancient times and the 18th century. We can be sure though, that this line is meant to cut even much deeper than that—Yeats believes that they truly share something on a deep spiritual level. He speaks of a book l. Murmur, a little sadly, how Love fled, and paced upon the mountains overhead and hid his face amid a crowd of stars? Unrequited love is the theme for this poem and is illustrated through a number of different techniques.
Being a Symbolist poet, he uses allusive imagery and symbolic structures throughout his career to captivate generations to come. And paced---overhead-Love no longer lives on earth, but upon lofty mountain peaks. He vows to this woman, that had she returned his love, he would have loved everything about her, even the way her face would age and change with time. The poet loved her not for her physical beauty only, but also loved for her soul. The poet tells her how she would then remember her old lovers, who are no more. It is famous for being the event that brought Irish republicanism to the forefront in the politics of the country, which ultimately led to the Irish War of Independence. A main reason they do this is due to the fact that they either have a strong belief in that very idea or it somehow correlates to an important piece of their life overall.
Stanza 2 How many loved your moments of glad grace, And loved your beauty with love false or true; But one man loved the pilgrim soul in you, And loved the sorrows of your changing face. This organization, which still exists, deals mostly with the occult, metaphysics, and esoteric philosophy. The speaker of the poem lives in a country of the young which neglect the old. Synge, University of Michigan Press, 1995. What was behind William Butler Yeats success, and what phases did he have to go through to get there. I can identify, as many others can, with his longing to escape the pressures of civilisation and with his desire to possess the courage his heroes did.
Throughout his poetry and literary works he uses a combination of technique and style to express his meaningful ideas. During the course of her career she has entertained her readers with a very unique view about death. And who could play it well enough If deaf and dumb and blind with love? Finally, we will offer our own interpretation of the poem as a summary. The rhyming pattern is very different and steady written in iambic pentameter, the first stanza is a b b a; the second is c d c d; the third is e f e f. By saying this the speaker also intends saying that in comparison to her false lovers, he was the only true lover who had loved her all-through —from youth to old age and he loves her even now. It is considered one of the best works of Yeats and it is the most famous poem of his greatest poetry collection, The Tower.
She did not return his love. Only one man loved you as you grew older. He wrote this poem to commemorate the martyrs of the Easter Rising. The first stanza is very soothing to read. It is addressed to Maud Gonne with whom he was in love. It leaves me with a feeling of contentment, just thinking that someone with a little age, and all alone can look back upon her life and keep smiling until it is her time to be united with her soul-mate.
The turn of the century marked Yeats's increased interest in theatre, an interest influenced by his father, a famed artist and orator whose love of highly dramatic moments in literature certainly contributed to Yeats's lifelong interest in drama. Thus, he is trying to get her to picture herself as an old woman before she actually gets there. At that time, she will remember her past beauty and the many men who admired it. During these years of Yeats's esoterica Ireland was rife with internal strife. She can climb the mountain easily, and together they can reach for the sky. The society offered instruction and initiation in a series of ten levels, the three highest of which were unattainable except by magi who were thought to possess the secrets of supernatural wisdom and enjoy magically extended lives. The use of a simplistic rhyme scheme does not mean the poem is simple by any means.
Fisher Unwin, 1895, revised editions, 1899, 1901, 1912, 1927. In this conflict Yeats emphatically sided with the new Irish government. Yeats: A New Selection, with an introduction and notes by A. Yeats is saying he would still love her. His words resonate with the masses because all people young or old can relate.