Your SlideShare is downloading. ×
Yeats, Study of Selected Poems
Upcoming SlideShare
Loading in...5
×

Thanks for flagging this SlideShare!

Oops! An error has occurred.

×

Saving this for later?

Get the SlideShare app to save on your phone or tablet. Read anywhere, anytime - even offline.

Text the download link to your phone

Standard text messaging rates apply

Yeats, Study of Selected Poems

33,054
views

Published on


1 Comment
7 Likes
Statistics
Notes
  • i really like this presentation and would like to download it, can someone please tell me how?
       Reply 
    Are you sure you want to  Yes  No
    Your message goes here
No Downloads
Views
Total Views
33,054
On Slideshare
0
From Embeds
0
Number of Embeds
1
Actions
Shares
0
Downloads
274
Comments
1
Likes
7
Embeds 0
No embeds

Report content
Flagged as inappropriate Flag as inappropriate
Flag as inappropriate

Select your reason for flagging this presentation as inappropriate.

Cancel
No notes for slide

Transcript

  • 1. YeatsA study of selected poems by W.B. Yeats
  • 2. List of Poems• Broken Dreams• The Cold Heaven• Easter 1916• In Memory of Eva Gore-Booth...• Leda and the Swan• Sailing to Byzantium• The Cat and the Moon• The Fisherman• The Man and the Echo• The Second Coming• The Stolen Child• The Wild Swans at Coole• Among School Children• An Irish Airman Foresees his Death
  • 3. Context:1917: Yeats‘ last proposal to MaudThemes:•Time•Death•DecayBROKEN DREAMS
  • 4. Form and Structure• The varied length of the stanzas illustrates Yeats‘ feelings, the shift of focus makes the poem feel very modern• The enjambment is used when Yeats looks back on the past, this technique is used particularly when he is recalling Maud in her youth and how beautiful she was
  • 5. ImageryDecay/Time:• ―There is grey in your hair‖ –Maud‘s beauty withered with time• ―But in the grave all, all, shall be renewed –‖ –Maud was once beautiful in her youth, Maud may have lost some of her appeal; but Yeats looks forward to the afterlife when her former beauty will be restored (which is quite fickle). It seems here beauty is only in the eye of the beholderBeauty:• ―Burdensome beauty” –beauty here is seen as negative as it is like a curse and with time beauty will only wither away• ―You are more beautiful than any one/ And yet your body had a flaw / Your small hands were not beautiful –‖ –even Maud has her faults with makes her human like the rest of us and not angelic
  • 6. Context:Yeats is wondering what life after death is like, and if Heaven exists andwhat that could be like etcYeats is confused; which is reflected in the vagueness of the poemThemes:•Death•Crisis of Faith•Binary OppositesTHE COLD HEAVEN
  • 7. Form and Structure• The poem itself is romantic in style as it focuses on a spectrum of different emotionsStructure• Alexandrines: these are woven into free verse to reflect order and chaos (another binary opposite). The blending of the two reflect Yeats‘ confusion about the afterlife and what awaits him after he diesForm• Enjambment: used to represent stream-of-consciousness (Yeats‘ thoughts) – this is typical of modern literature• E.g. ―Suddenly I saw the cold and rook-delighting heaven/ That seemed as though ice burned and was but the more ice,‖• Line length: there is a rocking back and forth effect created by the length of lines and by the number of accents which goes: 6, 7, 5, 6, 6, 7, 5, 6, 7, 5, 6, 5.
  • 8. Imagery• “Vanished and left but memories, that should be out of season/With the hot blood of youth..” –here Yeats is saying that youth should not be concerned with death, ‗hot blood of youth‘ could suggest that their innocence can be seen as ignorance, maybe Yeats did some things in his own youth that he feels was impulsive and foolish. In ‗Sailing to Byzantium‘ Yeats similarly mocks the youth in the lines ―commend all summer long/ Whatever is begotten, born and dies‖• ―rook-delighting‖ – an omen of death; Yeats is not sure if the afterlife is a good or bad thing as it is uncertain what awaits him• ―Riddled with light‖-this is used to represent the body dying, finally we are coming to a climax in the poem• ―Confusion of the death-bed over, is it sent‖-the spirit leaving the body• ―Out naked on the roads, as the books say, and stricken/ By the injustice of the skies for punishment?‖-the afterlife seems harsh, even more endurable than the process of the death itself. Yeats ends the poem with a rhetorical question, as he does in ‗Leda and the Swan‘ and ‗The Second Coming‘, he doesn‘t provide us any answers instead we are left to make our own assumptions
  • 9. Oxymorons and Opposites• The title itself is an oxymoron as we associate Heaven to be warm and friendly aspheric. ‗Cold Heaven‘ also contrasts Hell, temperature wise• ―ice burned‖ –as we know ice doesn‘t burn, Yeats is simply stating that some opposites and relationships cannot work as they are so different• ―rook-delighting heaven‖-a rook is a black bird: perhaps an omen of death, a death-delighting heaven which is a very unlikely combination when we think of the two
  • 10. Context:Based on the Easter 1916 uprising in IrelandThemes:•Politics•DeathEASTER 1916
  • 11. Historical Background• Constance Markievicz: A freedom fighter who dedicated her life to ending British government in Ireland. With the new Irish government, Markievicz held the position of Minister of Labour.• Patrick Pearse: An accomplished Irish writer who was editor of the Gallic League‘s paper. He also founded the St. Enda‘s School in Dublin. Yeats refers to Pearse in ―Easter 1916″ as the man who ―had kept a school / and rode our winged horse‖ (24-25). The ―winged horse‖ represents Pegasus, a figure from Greek mythology – the use of this image highlights Pearse‘s learned state…he almost, in Yeats‘ mind, rises to take his place among the great Greek philosophers (see ‗Among Schoolchildren‘ for further Yeatsian reflection on the value of the great Greeks)`• Thomas MacDonagh: He studied the Irish language and met Patrick Pearse through his involvement with the Gallic League. He joined the teaching staff at Pearse‘s St. Edna‘s School. In addition to his involvement in education and the fight for Irish independence, MacDonagh was also an Irish writer. Yeats asserts Pearse and MacDonagh‘s relationship by referring to MacDonagh as Pearse‘s ―helper and friend‖(26). Information copied from www.aterriblebeautyisborn.com
  • 12. Historical Background• Major John Macbride: An Irish revolutionary and was married to Maud Gonne. He was predominately featured in Yeats‘ poetry. Although Yeats held particular bitterness against Macbride as a man who ―had done most bitter wrong / to some who were near my heart‖(33-34), Yeats overcame these judgments (or at least admits that a man in death may bear little resemblance to a man in life• Maud Gonne: The inspiration for many of Yeats‘s early poems. A feminist and actress she later moved on to try and release the Irish political prisoners from jail during the Easter Rising.• James Connolly: Joined the British army at the age of fourteen. During the time he spent with the armed forces, Connolly educated himself as well as developing his interest in both Nationalism and Socialism. In the Easter Rising rebellion, Connolly was Commander-General of the Dublin Brigade. Information copied from www.aterriblebeautyisborn.com
  • 13. Form and Structure• Yeats varies between Iambic tetrameter and Iambic trimeter perhaps to reflect the changes in Ireland and/or to show the coming of age Ireland as it tries to seek its own identity• The rhyme scheme of the poem changes in ABAB
  • 14. Analysis• ―vivid faces‖ –these faces lack description showing their unimportance• ―A terrible beauty is born‖ –the people of Ireland coming together to fight for independence; however Yeats expects that it will only end up in bloodshed and death• ―ignorant good-will / Her night in argument / Until her voice grew shrill ‖ –painting Constance Markievicz in a negative light (just as he does in ‗In the memory of Eva Gore...), he thinks that she manipulated good however uneducated supporters/people for her own desires
  • 15. Context:Based on two friends of Yeats, who he spent a lot of time with in his youthIn the poem Yeats looks back on the choices they made in life andcomments on themThemes:•Time•RegretIN THE MEMORY OF EVA GORE-BOOTH AND CONSTANCEMARKIEWICZ
  • 16. Form and Structure• The poem is made of 3 stanzas consisting of 10 or 12 lines• The poem, like ‗An Irish Airman Foresees his Death‘, is personal therefore there is no regular rhyme scheme
  • 17. References to events in HistoryEaster 1916:―Conspiring among the ignorant‖ ―An image of such politics‖• Here Yeats is referring to Constance‘s role in the Easter 1916 uprising.• The phrases themselves seem rather negative as he doesn‘t believe in her method of protest and thinks she took advantage of uneducated people to do her deeds• ―The older is condemned to death‖ – Constance was condemned to death after the uprising; however she was pardoned as she was a woman (women in that time were not executed)
  • 18. ImageryWealth:―The light of evening, Lissadell,Great windows open to the south,Two girls in silk kimonos, bothBeautiful, one a gazelle.‖―that old Georgian mansion‖• Here it is clear that the girls are of upper class as they are living in a ‗Georgian mansion‘ and wearing the latest fashions ‗silk kimonos‘
  • 19. ImageryYouth:• ―I know not what the younger dreams—/ Some vague Utopia‖ –young, foolish and naïveTime:• ―Blossom from the summer‘s wreath‖ –as from the first four lines, the girls were clearly beautiful in their youth but here Yeats is saying that time has stripped them for their beauty as they are now ―When withered old and skeleton-gaunt‖• ―Dear shadows‖ – shadows of the past, past memories, speaking again of their ignorance• ―Have no enemy but time‖ –time is the true enemy here
  • 20. Context:Loosely based on the mythological tale of Leda and the Swan of a womanwho is raped by Zeus and later falls pregnant with Helen of Troy.Yeats uses the story to symbolise England‘s boisterous control over IrelandThemes:•MythologyLEDA AND THE SWAN
  • 21. Portraits of Leda and the SwanIt is very interesting to see that artists paint the story to be sensual, even as a great lovestory
  • 22. Form and Structure• The structure follows the Petrarchan sonnet (abab cdcd efg efg); it is quite ironic that Yeats has used this structure as it is normally to reflect emotions of love, which contrasts this poem‘s violent and dark qualities• There is caesura following the word ‗blow‘ as Leda is shocked and vulnerable against the ‗sudden‘ attack
  • 23. Analysis• The poem itself is ambiguous as we do not know if it is consensual or rapeImages of it being consensual:• ―her thighs caressed‖ ―her nape caught in his bill,/ He holds her helpless breast upon his breast‖ ―A shudder in the loins‖• We could interpret this phrases as that Leda was giving herself to Zeus; however the by the adjective ‗helpless‘ we could interpret that she had no choiceImages of rape:• ―Above the staggering girl‖ ―terrified vague fingers‖ ―her loosening thighs‖ ―A shudder in the loins engenders there/ The broken wall‖• Here Leda is portrayed to be weak and victim-like as she cannot push the swan off
  • 24. Analysis• ―The broken wall, the burning roof and tower/ And Agamemnon dead‖ – Yeats is referring to the destruction of Troy after/during the war and Agamemnon‘s demise• Yeats, like most of his poems, finishes the poem with a rhetorical question which leaves the reader wondering what happened next. Maybe here he is questioning the fate of Ireland, questioning what will happen next to the country and its people
  • 25. Context:A myth originating from the Old Testament, a group of men built a grand towerbut God destroyed it and divided the people. Using this idea Yeats could bereferencing to the destruction caused by the First World War.Themes:•Death•Art•NatureSAILING TO BYZANTIUM
  • 26. Form and Structure• Yeats uses Ottava Rima as he does in ‗Among School children‘
  • 27. Imagery• Yeats paints a negative self-portrait, he is bitter about his own ageing and decay therefore he reduces himself to ―a tattered coat upon a stick‖ ―An aged man is but a paltry thing‖• ―that is not a country for old men‖ –Yeats feels he no longer belongs in IrelandNature• Nature here is presented to be harmonious ―the young in one another‘s arms, birds in the trees‖ –Yeats seems bitter as they have each other and their looks, Yeats again is wallowing in self-pityEternal Glory• Yeats wants to be more than the scarecrow-like figure, he wants to be cast in gold to be forever, and eternal work of art ―Grecian goldsmiths make of hammered gold and gold enamelling‖
  • 28. Context:After Maud turned Yeats proposal of marriage down for the final time, heproposed to Maud‘s daughterThe poem can be interoperated as the relationship between Maud andYeats as the cat ‗Minnaloushe‘ was purposively owned by MaudThemes:•Nature•GyresTHE CAT AND THE MOON
  • 29. Form and Structure• The poem itself is song-like as it is very rhythmic and repetitive• There is a lot of rhyming; which adds to the rhythm of the poem• Use of alliteration makes the poem lyrical, and childish
  • 30. Analysis• The cat in the poem is Yeats, who is attracted to and influenced by the Moon (Maud)• The moon has always been associated with women and the menstrual cycle• In the poem the moon is almost tormenting the cat ―The pure cold light in the sky/ Troubled his animal blood‖• However the moonlight shining on the cat implies that Maud is what makes Yeats‘ works so magnificent, as Maud is the muse behind most of Yeats‘ poems
  • 31. Analysis‗The yolk and the white of one shell‘• ―The cat went here and there / and the moon spun around like a top.‖• ―Does Minnaloushe know that his pupils Will pass from change to change, And that from round to crescent‖• Yeats here implies that the cat and the moon are meant to be together and their similarities is what unites themContrast:• The cat is black and the moon is white; the use of binary opposites shows how distant the two objects really are
  • 32. Moon cycle/ Cat’s pupils
  • 33. Context:The Fisherman is about Yeats scorn for the public and their disrespect of art.Yeats longs for an ideal Ireland of a time long passed, a perfect Ireland, aperfect audience, and a perfect man which the Fisherman is the embodimentofThemes:•Time•Opposites•An Ideal IrelandTHE FISHERMAN
  • 34. Form and Structure• Yeats uses a simple rhyme scheme to illustrate his point, Yeats also makes his sentence structures simple for the ―wise and simple man‖• His poem has almost been forced to be made simple as the public and the new world have demanded it so• Yeats uses the form and structure to criticize the audience, tensions build in the second stanza until a crescendo at the end of the stanza, here the structure and form is used to mirror Yeats‘ emotions of anger• ―The beating down of the wise/ And great Art beaten down.‖• Stanza three is more of a reflection stanza as Yeats looks back on what he has written, here in the third stanza he writes with clarity as he writes of the fisherman
  • 35. Imagery• Yeats begins and ends the poem creating an image of an idealistic Ireland and the perfect man• ―The freckled man who goes/ To a gray place on a hill/ In gray Connemara clothes/ At dawn to cast his flies—‖ –here we have an idealistic picture of a rural Ireland where men work hard doing physical tasks• At the start, after Yeats describes the fisherman, he goes on to talk about the disrespectful audience and by the middle of the second stanza Yeats anger is overpowering• Though the fisherman fires Yeats argument and anger at the start of the poem; by the end of the poem in stanza three the fisherman represents an only form of comfort that Yeats has, almost like the image of the fisherman is the only thing keeping him going
  • 36. Oxymorons and Opposites• The ―wise and simple man‖ here Yeats is being ironic as the audience are simple, and if there was a wise man he is consumed by materialistic things of the modern world.• Here it is clear that Yeats longs for an ideal audience who appreciate art and are just as intelligent as himself• ―as cold/ And passionate as the dawn‖-the use of opposites here emphasises that the old world and the modern world do not ‗mix‘ as they are so different. The world Yeats dreams of is a world where literature and art were still cherished, in this new hedonistic world materialistic objects and human pleasures (drinking, sex etc) seem to be more important
  • 37. Context:Based on the Greek Mythology of Narcissus and EchoYeats is thinking about things from his past and whether he could havedone moreThemes:•Mythology•Nature•Death•RegretTHE MAN AND THE ECHO
  • 38. Narcissus and Echo• Echo was a nymph who fell in love with Narcissus when she sees him for the first time• Echo reveals herself to Narcissus and he rejects her love• Echo wastes away until she remains just a voice in the wind• Narcissus after hunting lays by a spring for a drink but catches sight of his reflection, he instantly falls in love with himself and wont be moved from the spring. He wastes away with the love for his own reflection• When Narcissus‘ body is gone all is left is a Narcissus flower: a pale flower near the river banks so it can be reflected on the water
  • 39. Form and Structure• The poem is made of rhyming couplets: ―Man. In a cleft thats christened Alt Under broken stone I halt At the bottom of a pit That broad noon has never lit,‖• Trochaic tetrameter
  • 40. Mythology• ―In a cleft thats christened Alt‖-this is a reference to a hill in Ireland that is supposed to a Celtic burial ground• Echo and Narcissus in the poem could be referring to Yeats (echo) and Maud (Narcissus) or Yeats (echo) and Ireland (Narcissus) or Yeats (Narcissus) and Margo (echo)The Effect of echo:• ―Echo. Lay down and die.‖ is put between each stanza to show Yeats in conflict with his thoughts, the echo is an extension of himself and his echo are only repeating his words and ideas back to him adding to Yeats‘ loneliness
  • 41. References to historical events/ events in Yeats’ life• ―Did that play of mine send out/ Certain men the English shot?‖ – this refers to Easter 1916 and the executions after the uprising. This phrase also refers to a play that Yeats wrote ‗Cathleen ni Houlihan‘ here Yeats is wondering if he was a cause of the uprising• ―Did words of mine put too great strain/ On that woman‘s reeling brain?‖ – here Yeats is referring to mentally unstable Margo Collins, who was a writer and Yeats had an affair with. She became a muse of his, and he tried to mentor her to improve her own poetry. Yeats broke off the relationship, due to her poetry, she had a breakdown and committed suicide• ―Could my spoken words have checked/ That whereby a house lay wrecked?‖ – here Yeats is wondering if he could have done anything to stop the destruction of Lady Gregory‘s mansion and the destruction of Coole Park
  • 42. Themes and ImageryCrisis of Faith:• ―What do we know but that we face/ One another in this place?‖ –here, like in ‗The Cold Heaven‘, Yeats is questioning what is there after death and if there is a HeavenDeath:• ―Echo. Lay down and die.‖ – is death the only way out?Nature:• ―Up there some hawk or owl has struck, Dropping out of sky or rock, A stricken rabbit is crying out, And its cry distracts my thought‖• Here Nature is volatile and destructive, even to an extent pointless• Is Yeats distracted by what he sees, or is he trying to make a point that life is volatile and destructive?
  • 43. Context:Written after World War I, at a time of changeThemes:•Gyres•DeathTHE SECOND COMING
  • 44. Gyres―a geometrical shape- Yeats theory of life expressed in ‗A Vision‘ – each gyre gradually rotates towards a point of maximum expansion, at this point a new gyre starts in the centre of the previous. And thus it continues in a never ending line.‖Source: www.aterriblebeautyisborn.com
  • 45. Imagery• ―Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world‖ –like a caged beast being released to cause destruction, the beast could be a symbol for World War I• ―Is moving its slow thighs, while all around it / Reel shadows of indignant desert birds‖ –the beast about to take its prey• The poem ends with a rhetorical question, like many of his poems including Leda and the Swan‘, the effect is it leaves death and life in the balance and our fates uncertain:• ―its hour come round at last, / Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?‖
  • 46. Biblical references• ―The blood dimmed tide is loose‖ -Revelation 17:3-6 that says ‗the beast‘ will come as a predecessor to the second coming of Christ.REVELATION 16:3• ‗And the second angel poured out his vial upon the sea; and it became as the blood of a dead man: and every living soul died in the sea.‘MATTHEW 24: 27-31• ―27For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. 28For wheresoever the carcase is, there will the eagles be gathered together.‖REVELATION 17: 3-6• ‗So he carried me away in the spirit into the wilderness: and I saw a woman sit upon a scarlet coloured beast, full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns.‘
  • 47. Context:Yeats‘ earlier poems, he wrote this aged twenty-one when he wasbeginning his career. In his earlier poems Yeats writes more romanticallyand based his poems on Irish mythologyThemes:•Mythology•NatureTHE STOLEN CHILD
  • 48. Form and Structure• The poem is almost lyrical due to certain qualities such as the line(s) that repeat at the end of each stanza which almost acts as a refrain/chorus ―For the worlds more full of weeping than you can understand‖• The rhythm is quite steady due to the simple rhyming scheme, the rhythm makes the poem seem like a child‘s song or poem, adding to the child-like and fantasy quality of the poem
  • 49. ImageryYeats creates this elaborate fairytale-like kingdom where he is able to be free, free from his troubles and the modern world• ―the reddest stolen cherries‖ –the fruit seems very alluring and irresistible, here the faeries are trying to lure the childNature and Freedom• ―the waters and the wild‖ –freedom• ―the frothy bubbles‖ –free, without a care or so it seems on the surface• ―wandering water gushes‖• ―For the worlds more full of weeping than you can understand‖ –the idea of escaping troubles/reality
  • 50. Context:Yeats would come to Coole Park often to write poetry, Coole Park washome to a good friend of Yeats: Lady GregoryHere in ‗The Wild Swans at Coole‘ he writes of the park and how it changesover timeThemes:•Time•NatureTHE WILD SWANS AT COOLE
  • 51. Form and Structure• 5, 6 line stanzas roughly following the iambic meter structure,• First and third lines are in tetrameter• 2nd, 4th and 6th lines are in trimeter with the 5th line(s) in pentameter• The poem similarly resembles a ballad due to its structure and strong emotion• A-B-C-B-D-D rhyming scheme
  • 52. ImageryHarmony and Love:• ―Unwearied still, lover by lover,‖ ―Their hearts have not grown old;‖-the swans are at peace with each other and are ‗young at heart‘ as they seem to be passionately in love. Perhaps the swans remind Yeats of a memory of his youth, he almost seems jealous and bitter as they have each other and he can never have Maud: the woman of his dreams• ―on the still water/ Mysterious, beautiful;‖ –nature in harmonyTime:• ―Under the October twilight the water/ Mirrors a still sky;‖-nature seems to be harmonious; but also here we are reminded by the sky that with time and the change of seasons that the sky changes too• ―The nineteenth Autumn has come upon me‖• ―in great broken rings‖- time and its continuous cycle, time is something greater than us humans: destiny, ‗the bigger picture‘
  • 53. Imagery and further analysisJealousy:• ―And now my heart is sore‖ – feelings of jealousy as he looks upon the swans and sees how happy and in love they areLoneliness:• ―nine and fifty swans‖-adding to feelings of being alone in a crowd etc• ―brilliant creatures‖-he can only watch these creatures and not touch or join them adding to Yeats‘ feelings of loneliness and issolationFurther Analysis:• Yeats ends the poem, like ‗The Cold Heaven‘, with a rhetorical question showing Yeats confusion as he ponders in mid-thought• Yeats could be thinking of what would he do after Maud dies, after all she is the main focus of his life and his poetry
  • 54. Use of Onomatopoeia• ‗clamorous‘ ‗beat‘ ‗scatter‘• These words are harsh, powerful and even violent sounding• The use of onomatopoeia is used to show Yeats anger and frustration as he looks back on certain parts of his life, from the words chosen we can only assume that these are bad memories
  • 55. Context:Yeats was a famous public figure and was invited to many events andschools etc.One day, when he was a special guest at a school, he walks aroundimagining what Maud was like at this age; and he also thinks about theGreat PhilosophersThemes:•Mythology•ReflectionAMONG SCHOOL CHILDREN
  • 56. Form and Structure• Ottava Rima: normally used for epic poetry to reflect deep thoughts or philosophical ideas
  • 57. Analysis• ―The public man‖ –here Yeats is referring to himself and his importance• ―stand before me as a living child‖ –here Yeats is thinking what Maud would have been like at that age• ―A Ledean body‖ ―For even daughters of the swan can share Something of every paddler‘s heritage‖ – a link to ‗Leda and the Swan‘, Yeats is also referring to Maud• ―a comfortable kind of old scarecrow‖–Yeats here is aware that he is older now and aged, he paints a haggard and negative image of himself. In ‗Sailing to Byzantium‘ he also describes himself as ―a tattered coat upon a stick‖• ―How can we know the dancer from the dance?‖ –like most of his poems, Yeats ends with a rhetorical question, making the reader reflect
  • 58. The Great PhilsophersPlato• ‗the yolk and white of an egg‘ –here Yeats is referring to Plato‘s idea of the egg/sphere, Yeats here is implying that Maud and him are supposed to be together• ―Plato thought nature but a spume that plays/ Upon a ghostly paradigm of things‖ –referring to Plato‘s complex theory of ‗the cave‘ and ‗shadows‘Aristotle• ―Solider Aristotle played the taws/ Upon the bottom of a king of kings‖ – Aristotle who taught Alexander the GreatPythagoras• ―World-famous golden-thighed Pythagoras/ Fingered upon a fiddle-stick or strings‖ –Pythagoras was a mathematician, who also dabbled in music. He created the idea of perfect 4ths, 5ths and octaves
  • 59. Context:Set in World War IYeats wrote this as an elegy to Major Robert Gregory: the son of LadyGregory (one of Yeats‘ best friends) who lived in KiltartanThemes:•Death•FateAN IRISH AIRMAN FORESEES HISDEATH
  • 60. Form and Structure• The tight structure creates an echo effect as if the airman is certain to die• In Iambic tetrameter• Caesura before the last two words ‗this death‘ emphasising that the airman‘s life is in the hands of destiny, however the caesura could imply that death is the only way out
  • 61. Imagery and AnalysisFate:• ―I KNOW that I shall meet my fate/ Somewhere among the clouds above;‖-sense of being destined to die• ―clouds above‖-perhaps a link to ‗The Wild Swans at Coole‘ (the place Major Gregory would have grew up/lived) “mirrors a still sky”• ―In balance with this life, this death‖ –the airman‘s life in the hands of fateDeath and destruction:• ―tumult in the clouds‖• ―waste of breath‖• ―A lonely impulse of delight‖ –ambiguous; however it could be interoperated as the airman taking pleasure in killing/death
  • 62. Further Analysis• ―Those that I fight I do not hate /Those that I guard I do not love;‖ – Ireland did not feel threatened by World War I• ―Those that I guard I do not love‖ –Fighting with the British who had oppressed the Irish for many years• The use of pronouns makes the poem seem personal more than just a poem written for the public for entertainment