Yeats: Easter Rising and Ideal World

1506 Words May 4th, 2013 7 Pages
‘Yeats’s poetry is driven by a tension between the real world in which he lives and an ideal world that he imagines’

The poetry of Yeats gives a deep, profound and though-provoking experience. His sweepingly broad thematic focus deals with issues that are timeless and universal. We realise Yeats both is a very public and a very private poet, his work ranging from the personal and political, to Irish history and his own life experiences and emotions. He grew up in a very transitional time, where a world war and a civil war were both fought. This he captured in words such as ‘September 1913’, ‘Easter 1916’ and ‘The Stares Nest by my Window’. Later in life his preoccupation shifted and his work dealt with his obsession with
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He realises that patriotism is not as glorious as he thought, it ‘makes a stone of the heart’ and that perhaps the price you pay is inordinately high. There is too much life lost, always the young and impressionable who suffer. By the end Yeats re-evaluates his faith in patriotism and nationalism, seeing it comes at much too high a cost, the real world over-rules his imaginary, ideal world.

The poem ‘Stares nest by my window’ portrays Yeats new found outlook on life, and he recounts his friends who’ve given so much in the name of patriotism. He portrays poignantly how war and patriotism can make men behave in brutal, barbaric ways. No more thought is given for human life ‘as they trundled down the road, the dead young soldier in his blood’. No empathy or thought is spared to the innocent victims of their fight in the name of nationalism. What is it to them ‘ a house burns, a man dead’. It has no real significance in their greater scheme.

In this poem Yeats conveyed brilliantly the corrosive effects of fanaticism of the human soul. How it can rid a man of all sense of morality and what’s fair and just. He also shows how his ‘loosening masonry’ holds no protection for his anymore, that all people are susceptible to its effects.

It’s clear from this series of poems that there is a real source of tension for Yeats between the real world and his initial ideal world and romanticised view or patriotism.

Much later in life, Yeats’s preoccupation with
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