Yeats Essay

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W.B Yeats Essay

Write an essay in which you give your reasons for liking/not liking the poetry of W.B Yeats. Support your points by reference to or quotation from, the poems that are on your course.

In my opinion and from the sample of his poetry which I have studied, I would say that the poetry of W.B Yeats is very enjoyable to read. The themes of his poems are often easily identified with and his simple style of writing makes his poetry easy to interpret and understand. Although easily engaging with the themes of his poetry contributes to my liking of Yeats’ poetry, it is his gift of writing that has an impact on me. His use of powerful contrasts and breath-taking imagery easily make Yeats one of the greatest poets of the twentieth
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There is a strong contrast in this poem between the old, weary, lonely poet and the apparently ever-youthful, energetic and powerful swans. Yeats’ journey to Byzantium in “Sailing to Byzantium” is due to the fact that he wishes to become immortal, to flee the dreaded progression of ageing. He rejects Ireland as it is “no country for old men” and criticizes those who get too caught up in the wonders of life and who have no concerns about growing old “Caught in that sensual music all neglect, Monuments of unageing intellect”. The poet claims that one, namely, “an aged man”, can only break free from the spell of ageing if he is allow his spirit to break free “A tattered coat upon a stick, unless soul clap its hands and sing and louder sing”. Yeats obviously wants to bypass old age and become immortal in this poem and begs the “sages” to allow him to break away from his body, “a dying animal”, and to gather him “into the artifice of eternity”. In both “The Wild Swans at Coole” and “Sailing to Byzantium, a strong contrast is made. However, in “The Wild Swans at Coole”, Yeats merely seems envious of the youthful swans, in contrast to “Sailing to Byzantium” where he seems angry with the young who appear to waste their youthfulness. I found this theme very thought-provoking and therefore an entertaining theme to read about.

A final theme which appeared in the poetry of Yeats which I studied was that of historical events. This theme appears in “September 1913” and
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