Yeats Sailing To Byzantium Analysis

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Not a Country for the Old

(A discussion on three messages from Yeats Sailing to Byzantium.)

William Butler Yeats was a poet of the twentieth century, a time of change with world wars, revolutions, technology change, and much more. William Yeats is considered the most important poet of the twentieth century. “The Irish poet and dramatist William Butler Yeats (1865-1939) was perhaps the greatest poet of the 20th century. He won the Nobel Prize for literature in 1923 and was the leader of the Irish Literary Renaissance”(Gale). Yeats started his career with plays, and eventually moved to poetry. Poetry gave him a loud voice to express what he wanted. One of his most remembered pieces of work is Sailing to Byzantium. In Yeats's Sailing to Byzantium three messages are displayed.

In Sailing to Byzantium, William Yeats expresses the message of young people only being interested in the present. When people are young they are inexperienced and dumb. Yeats acknowledges this idea in his poem and explains the idea that being young is fun, young people like to be together, or in love. He realizes young people are only interested in the present and nothing else. “Caught in that sensual music all neglect, monuments of unaging intellect”(1). Yeats explains that the old will try and give wisdom to the young, but it's useless because the young doesn’t wish to listen. The young are too busy living life to the fullest, to sit down and listen to the words of a wise old man. Yeats

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