In Memory of Eva Gore-Booth and Constance Essay

In Memory of Eva Gore-Booth and Constance Essay

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Eva Gore-Booth and Constance (Con) Markiewicz (nee Gore-Booth) were sisters, Eva was younger. The girls grew up at Lissadell House where Yeats had spent a lot of time in his younger years. They were brought up in an aristocratic family, however, both gave up that lifestyle for different and fervent lifestyles. Eva was a committed suffragette and fell in love, and formed a committed relationship with Esther Roper. William Yeats had earlier thought about proposing to Eva before she fell in love with Esther. Con was an Irish National revolutionary and the first female to be elected into the British House of Commons; as a member of the Sinn Fein she would not except the seat. She was sentenced to death after the 1916 Easter uprising, however, the sentence was later commuted to prison because she was a woman. The sisters both died within a year of each other; Eva in 1926 and Constance in 1927.
The first four lines set up the poem, in that it creates an allusion of Eva and Con because Yeats does not actually mention them by name but we know that he is talking about them. This is because the two girls grew up at Lissadell and he thought both girls were very beautiful. He compares Eva to a gazelle because she was tall and he thought she was graceful and elegant, like a gazelle. We can assume that when Yeats says “The light of evening, Lissadell” he is referring to that time in their life was over for the girls and it is coming to the end of the day. We know that the two girls were brought up in an aristocratic family but gave it all up to live different and fervent lifestyles, this could be the 'light of evening' or the end of their lives as aristocrats.

This poem is a stretched sonnet in that it still feels and sounds like a sonnet but...


... middle of paper ...


...imself for the sisters' downfall because he did not see them nor did her try to stop them.
The repetition of the word 'strike' and 'match' (as in a matchstick) in the last stanza gives this sense of regret. Like he is saying keeping strike the match until it lights, he could be referring to the fact that he just let them go to face their own consequences, what they did was their own choice he wasn't obliged to get involved. However the final line repeats “bid me strike a match” but he adds blow to the end of it. He sought of leaves the reader with the question as to whether he regrets not helping them or 'blowing out the match'. Although a match is temporary, because it eventually burns out or is put out, in the mean time it can lead to bigger things like when is says “should the conflagration climb”, he is talking about a destructive fire ready to ruin the sisters.

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