The Wild Swans at Coole by W.B Yeats

3540 Words Jan 19th, 2014 15 Pages
The Wild Swans at Coole

The Wild Swans at Coole by W.B Yeats is one of musicality as it is a direct expression of personal feelings, identified as the author’s. The lyrical poem includes three main subjects: setting, serving as a correlative to these feelings, Swans as the trigger, and the poet himself. Written in loosened iambic pentameter and consisting of five six-line stanzas rhymed ‘abcbdd’, the poem’s reflective and melancholic mood reflect the time of the poems first appearance. During the year of 1916, Yeats’ spirits were low and embedded in this poem are the emotions he has towards the rejection, failure, and loneliness experienced throughout his life. Surprisingly, the poem deceives expectancy as it denies the reader the
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In his third stanza, Yeats openly admits to his loneliness, hinted towards in the previous stanza, and that he is in the autumn of his years whilst the Swans have stayed young and active. It is obvious Yeats envies the Swans because of this, but as he dotes on them he feels emotional, impacted by the fact everything in Yeats’ life has changed as the past nineteen years that have went by.

Yeats most definitely appears more emotional as he declares ‘my heart is sore’. Reminiscent upon the past and witnessing the dramatic changes in his life, there is the sense received by the reader that he has given up. This soon changes as he decides to ‘trod with a lighter tread’ conveying acceptance, happiness, and perhaps more energy and enthusiasm to ‘trod’ his way further on his path of life.

Towards the end of the poem, his fourth stanza enhances everything that has evolved so far in the poem. Jealousy of the Swans is due to the passion they engage with each other, passion which he has not yet found, highlighting Yeats’ loneliness at this part of his life. Due to the change over the years this stanza acts as a reflection of Yeats’ discouragement as a poet and lover; as well as reflect on his powers as a poet reducing with age.

Expressed by Yeats towards the end of the poem is frustration, as Yeats who has been affected by events does not apply to the Swans whom remain ‘Unwearied’. Isolated, envious,
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