In Heaney's book of poetry entitled Opened Ground, Heaney shows the readers many different ways in which English rule and influence effected and changed the lives of different people in Ireland. For example, in Two Lorries, Heaney describes a man who is a coal deliverer and his love for Heaney's mother. As the poem progresses, we can see a metamorphosis in the lorry. As the political situation in Ireland escalates and war between different religious factions grows more immanent, the lorry changes from a man who falls in love with Heaney's mother to a raving political and religious war type man who needs to become involved in the skirmish between the religious groups and by doing this eventually blows...
“Sailing to Byzantium”, published in 1928, “An Irish Airman Foresees His Death”, published in 1919, and “The Second Coming”, published in 1920, are all some of the most highly regarded works of William Butler Yeats. Although each poem seemingly contains its own personal ideas and focus on particular topics, one common theme is found throughout all three: death. In “Sailing to Byzantium” Yeats discusses the matter of growing old and attempting to find a way to live eternally after death has taken its toll, while in “An Irish Airman Foresees His Death” he creates an internal dialogue of an Irish airman as he feels he is about to take his final flight into death, and lastly in “The Second Coming” he creates an allegory for post-war Ireland by alluding to the Apocalypse. Each of these poems is popular not only due to the incredible manner in which they were written, but rather, due to the voice in which Yeats discusses each of the poem’s respective subjects. Through his modernist style, yet traditional form, William Butler Yeats wrote “Sailing to Byzantium”, “An Irish Airman Foresees His Death”, and “The Second Coming” as an attempt to answering the difficult questions that surround death in a way which resonated so strongly onto the audience that continues its legacy to this day.
Yeats' early work was not especially Irish. Soon, however, he began to look to the ancient rituals and pagan beliefs of the land for his artistic inspiration. He tried to merge this interest with his aristocratic tastes to create an original Irish poetry and to establish his own identity.
This book is a collection of the poetry, drama and essays that have been written by Yeats. The importance of this book is that it does not only make known the major contributions in poetry, drama, prose fiction and autobiography, but also criticisms which have been leveled at Yeats and these works. The criticisms herein are elaborate, taking a volume of 24 interpretative essays which have been written by different seasoned authors and poets such as Douglas Archibald, Lucy McDiarmid, Thomas Parkinson and Daniel Albright, among others.
All in all, Yeat’s poems: “When you are Old”, “The Lake Isle of Innisfree”, “The Wild Swans at Coole”, “The Second Coming”, and “Sailing to Byzantium” all show the struggle and opposition between change and stability in the world. Yeats uses imagery, language, and ideas to represent change and changelessness just like the critic, Richard Ellmann, said. Yeats’ philosophy on the conflict of opposites by using gyres shows us how different forces struggle against one another, just like the development of a personality or the rise and fall of a new civilization.
Many literary critics have observed that over the course of W. B. Yeats’ poetic career, readers can perceive a distinct change in the style of his writing. Most notably, he appears to adopt a far more cynical tone in the poems he generated in the later half of his life than in his earlier pastoral works. This somewhat depressing trend is often attributed to the fact that he is simply becoming more conservative and pessimistic in his declining years, but in truth it represents a far more significant change in his life. Throughout Yeats’ career, the poet is constantly trying to determine exactly what inspires him; early on, in such poems as “The Lake Isle of Innisfree” and “The Wild Swans at Coole,” Yeats obviously looks towards nature to find his muse, thereby generating idyllic pastoral scenery that is reminiscent of the nature-based poetry of Wordsworth. However, his later works are darkened not by his own perspective, but by the fact that he is no longer certain that nature is truly the fountain that he taps for inspiration. A number of his later poems, such as “Leda and the Swan” and “The Circus Animals’ Desertion,” employ symbolism and metaphor in order to reflect the author’s battle to find his true source. Yeats spends his career dealing with this conflict, and he eventually concludes that while nature itself may have been the source of the general ideas for many of his poems, the works themselves came to life only after he reached into the depths of his heart and sought the fuel of pure human emotions and experiences. Ultimately, he discovers that the only true inspiration comes from the trivial and mundane influences found in everyday life; the purest poetic inspiration is humanity itself.
Finneran, Richard J. The Collected Poems of W. B. Yeats. 2nd Ed. New York: Simon and Schuster Inc., 1996.
The various levels of interpretation that a poet, such as W.B.Yeats, welcomes to his poems is difficult to grasp upon first reading his poetry. What appears to be a straight forward poem, such as, An Irish Airman Foresees His Death, is actually an intellectual cultural criticism of Yeats’ modern day society. The poem, written as a testament to Lady Gregory’s son, captures the innermost concerns and perceptions of an Irish airman in World War I. However, through Yeats’ sentimental and poetic style, the poem incorporates a double meaning, and hence, focuses on Irish nationalism and its lack of an international consciencesness. The airman is Ireland personified, and his outlook on war and society is a window into the desolate situation that Ireland faces.
In these lines from "All Things can Tempt Me" (40, 1-5), Yeats defines the limitations of the poet concerning his role in present time. These "temptations" (his love for the woman, Maude Gonne, and his desire to advance the Irish Cultural Nationalist movement) provide Yeats with the foundation upon which he identifies his own limitations. In his love poetry, he not only expresses his love for Gonne, he uses his verse to influence her feelings, attempting to gain her love and understanding. In regard to the Nationalists, he incorporates traditional Irish characters, such as Fergus and the Druids, to create an Irish mythology and thereby foster a national Irish identity. After the division of the Cultural Nationalists, Yeats feels left behind by the movement and disillusioned with their violent, "foolish" methods. He is also repeatedly rejected by Gonne. These efforts to instigate change through poetry both fail, bringing the function of the poet and his poetry into question. If these unfruitful poems tempt him from his ?craft of verse,? then what is the true nature verse and why is it a ?toil? for the poet? Also, if Yeats cannot use poetry to influence the world around him, then what is his role as a poet?
It has been acknowledged by many scholars that Yeats' study of Blake greatly influenced his poetic expression. This gives rise to the widely held assertion that Yeats is indebted to Blake. While I concur with this assertion, I feel that the perhaps greater debt is Blake's.
W. B. Yeats is one of the foremost poets in English literature even today. He was considered to be one of the most important symbolists of the 20th century. He was totally influenced by the French movement of the 19th century. He was a dreamer and visionary, who was fascinated by folk-lore, ballad and superstitions of the Irish peasantry. Yeats poems are fully conversant with the Irish background, the Irish mythologies etc. Yeats has tried to bring back the “simplicity” and “altogetherness” of the earlier ages and blend it with the modern ideas of good and evil. Almost all his poems deal with ancient Ireland ...
John Keats was one of the greatest poets of the Romantic Era. He wrote poetry of great sensual beauty and had a unique passion for details. In his lifetime he was not recognized with the senior poets. He didn’t receive the respect he deserved. He didn’t fit into the respected group because of his age, nor in the younger group because he was neither a lord nor in the upper class. He was in the middle class and at that time people were treated differently because of their social status.
Though written only two years after the first version of "The Shadowy Waters", W.B. Yeats' poem "Adam's Curse" can be seen as an example of a dramatic transformation of Yeats' poetic works: a movement away from the rich mythology of Ireland's Celtic past and towards a more accessible poesy focused on the external world. Despite this turn in focus towards the world around him, Yeats retains his interest in symbolism, and one aspect of his change in style is internalization of the symbolic scheme that underlies his poetry. Whereas more mythological works like "The Shadowy Waters" betray a spiritual syncretism not unlike that of the Golden Dawn, "Adam's Curse" and its more realistic fellows offer a view of the world in which symbolic systems are submerged, creating an undercurrent of meaning which lends depth to the outward circumstances, but which is itself not immediately accessible to the lay or academic reader. In a metaphorical sense, then, Yeats seems in these later poems to achieve a doubling of audience, an equivocation which addresses the initiate and the lay reader simultaneously.
...n though William Butler Yeats had a great impact on Modernism, especially during his time, he still wrote in the Victorian style. Therefore, William Butler Yeats was a great poet, who greatly influenced the style of writing during his time, and the Modernistic style of writing after him.
MANDERS. It would be grievous indeed, if absence and absorption in art that sort of things were to blunt his natural feelings (I.24)