An Analysis of the Poetry of Yeats

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An Analysis of Down by the Salley Gardens One of Yeats' poems, Down by the Salley Gardens is a typical story of inexperienced youth in the realm of love. The final two lines hold the key to the theme of the poem: She bid me take life easy, as the grass grows on the weirs; But I was young and foolish, and now am full of tears. The poem is evidently about the relationship between the narrator and the woman with the "little snow-white feet• and the narrator's failure to be able to cope with that relationship. Whilst she wanted to enjoy herself and "take life easy•, he was too "young and foolish• to understand her needs, resulting in them going their separate ways, hence the ?nal line. Down by the Salley Gardens has a number of problems, probably due to it being written at an early point in Yeats' writing career. It lacks the subtlety of his later poems; there really is very little to analyze in terms of the themes and issues raised within. The language is also far simpler - there are no very memorable lines in this poem, whereas his later works contained lines that would eventually enter most people's collective unconscious, such as some of the first few lines of The Second Coming: Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;/Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world, The repetition used in the last two lines of each stanza is obvious and overstated, and the bouncy, cheerful rhyme scheme does not seem to compliment the rather downbeat and morose tone of the poem. Down by the Salley Gardens simply lacks the power and depth with which he later infused his poems. The Lake Isle of Innisfree Written only four years after Down by the Salley Gardens, The Lake Isle of Innisfree is a remarkable advance. This poem is far more sophisticated in all respects. An immediately noticeable difference between it and the previous poem is its maturity; the themes explored and the techniques used to do so are far more complex and detailed than those used in Down by the Salley Gardens. The central theme is that of exile, and it is portrayed in a somewhat curious way. The narrator longs to live on the island of Innisfree and be closer to nature, hence the lines:

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