Sailing to Byzantium”: William Butler Yeats Essay

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The enigmatic man, who is William Butler Yeats, has a life full of intense emotion and feeling that causes his experiences to be quite radical to say the least. His early childhood, interest in occults, and many encounters with questionable women truly shaped his lifetime of poetry in many ways. As well his poem “Sailing to Byzantium” had many complex themes, a central theme of time, and gave interesting views on art and experience. There were people of the poetry world that analyzed William Butler Yeats’ work and saw quite an interesting use of symbolism and a strikingly unique use of fantastical imagery. William Butler Yeats genuinely was a spiritualist poet.
The life of William Butler Yeats began when he was born into an honestly odd family dynamic. He was born in 1865 in Dublin to a once influential family (Yeats 2: 206). His parents were both of bygone influential status. They were never a rich family, but did their best to get by. John Butler Yeats, William’s father, was trained as a lawyer, but had always wished to be an artist and therefore put all of his ambition into being a painter (Yeats 2: 206). The family struggled because of financial hardship, as mentioned before, but William Butler Yeats saw his father’s ambition to fulfill his dreams as inspiration. Many of William Butler Yeats poems reflect a tangible need for culture to take the time to realize their dreams instead of staying with the status quo. This quality was also impressed upon him by his Irish mother who was deeply involved in the mysticism of faeries and astrology (Yeats 2: 206). Between his father’s freethinking artistic ways, and his mothers strong Irish background William Butler Yeats early childhood experiences influenced his writing greatly. Man...

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Moffett, Joe. "Poems." Encyclopedia of Themes in Literature. New York: Facts on File, 2011. N. pag. Bloom's Literature. Web. 16 Jan. 2014.
Persoon, James. "Yeats, William Butler." The Facts on File Companion to British Poetry, 1900 to Present. N.p.: n.p., n.d. N. pag. Bloom's Literature. Web. 15 Jan. 2014.
Yeats, W. B. "Sailing to Byzantium." Printice Hall Literature. Ed. Ellen Bowler. Upper Saddle River: Prentice Hall, 1996. 1070-71. Print.
Yeats, William Butler. "Sailing to Byzantium." Poetry for Students. Ed. Rose Napierkowski and Mary K. Ruby. Vol. 2. Detroit: Gale, 1998. 205-19. Print.
"Yeats, William Butler." Gale Contextual Encyclopedia of World Literature. Vol. 4. Detriot: Gale, 2009. N. pag. Gale Virtual Reference Library. Web. 15 Jan. 2014

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