He Wishes for the Cloths of Heaven

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In “He Wishes For The Cloths Of Heaven,” William Butler Yeats uses an extended metaphor about the “cloths of heaven” to capture the idea that he wishes he could give his beloved the best that he has to offer. The poem expresses that the author would be willing to make big sacrifices to attain the love of his life, Maud Gonne, but in the end the speaker will not succeed at wooing her, as consequence of the following. Though, Yeats does state that he loves Gonne and says that she is more precious to him than cloths "Enwrought with golden and silver light," he is only saying this to exalt himself in the eyes of others. This is intended to mean that he only wants what he does not have, and as a more commonly used expression states, he does not "put his money where his mouth is". A stable relationship needs a support, and if Yeats has nothing to support Gonne besides his dreams, then realistically speaking he has nothing to support her with.

In lines 1-4, "Had I the heavens' embroidered cloths, Enwrought with golden and silver light, The blue and the dim and the dark cloths Of night and light and the half-light," Yeats expresses how precious and valuable the "cloths of heaven" are. You can tell how marvelously they are described, because the speaker states how the "cloths of heaven" are decorated with light, both gold light and silver light, and made of "the dim and dark cloths of night and light and the half-light". Logically, the cloths described by the speaker are unrealistic, but this is intentional simply to show the amount of his affection towards Maud Gonne. This is intended to suggest that the speaker believes that if he had a possession, either spiritually or materially, that was as magnificent as the cloths portray...

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...fortable with being poor; this is shown in line 6, "But I, being poor, have only my dreams". He is unwilling because by taking no action he shows that he wouldn't "spread the cloths under her feet", because he would never obtain the cloths; shown in line 5 and 7, "I would spread the cloths under your feet", but instead "I have spread my dreams under your feet". Lastly, he is false in my eyes, because I see this poem as prevarication due to the idea that he is lying not to the reader or to his beloved, but to himself; Yeats falsely believes that he is in love with Gonne. Love is when a person is both physically and spiritually, or mentally, attracted to a person who would be willing to sacrifice and be faithful to the first person in the same way that he or she would be faithful to and sacrifice for him and her, while being in harmony with and a benefit to him or her.

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