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An Analysis of the Poem A Prayer for My Daughter by William Butler Yeats

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"A Prayer for My Daughter" is a poem written by William Butler Yeats in 1919. This poem is a prayer-like poem. And it generally tells about the poet's ideas about his daughter who is sleeping at the same time while the poem is being told. Throughout the poem Yeats reflects how he wants his daughter's future to be. This essay will analyze the poem in three sections: 1- What does this poem mean?, 2- The poetic devices, imagery, rhyming, figures of speech, used in the poem and mood, diction, language, and the structure of the poem, 3- An essay in a feminist point of view titled "What does the poet want his daughter to become?" .

1-WHAT DOES THIS POEM MEAN?

The poet is watching his infant daughter sleep. In the first stanza he starts with describing the setting of the poem. It is stormy outside, there is a kind of dark and gloomy weather and he prays for her. And he says that he has gloom in his mind and we will understand that what gloom is that in his mind.

In the second stanza the poet describes the things while he was praying for his daughter. He walks for an hour and notices the "sea-wind scream upon the tower", "under the arches of the bridge", "in the elms above the flooded stream." They probably represent the dreaming of the human beings and they are decisive. They are all about the present things and they block people from thinking about the future events. The last four lines of the second stanza clearly explain this idea:

"Imagining in excited reverie

That the future years had come,

Dancing to a frenzied drum,

Out of the murderous innocence of the sea."

In the third stanza he prays for her beauty, but not too much. He considers the beauty as a decisive element for choosing the right person to ma...


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... parts of the ideal woman he has in his mind or its opposites. He supports that a woman should be "a flourishing hidden tree", who is not well-known but beautiful. She shouldn't be anything but "merry." " Innocence" is beautiful in women, that's why if his daughter keeps her innocence inside and do not abuse it, she will not be affected by the "wind." He thinks that too much beauty distorts women, and causes them to destroy the gifts that are given by "Horn of Plenty" thus he wants his daughter to use the gifts wisely and properly. And he wants his daughter to learn the fact that "hearts are earned", and the men, who are deceived by just beauty, will notice their mistake later. He wants her daughter not to have strong opinions like hatred, because he thinks that hatred is the worst thing in the world. He hopes she will marry, and her house will be full of customs.



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