Yeats's Interest in Rhythm

2333 Words Feb 18th, 2018 9 Pages
(W.B. Yeats)

What light does this comment of Yeats’ shed on his poetry? Feel free in your answer to concentrate on poetic devices other than rhythm if you prefer.

Yeats’ interest in rhythm was deeply tied to the notion of the sound of the earth and nature, and our relationship with the elements. He also had a profound interest and belief in faery, and the ways in which one could transcend material reality in order to reach that world which ran alongside the natural world. Yet Yeats, who was born in 1865 and died in 1939, lived through an era of immense scientific discovery and change. He lived in a world where, by and large, to believe in faery was to be irrational, and the industrial hum of engines prevailed over the quieter sounds of nature. In his earlier poetry, he conveys a certain reverence towards the ancient rhythms of language and nature, flying in the face of the frenetically busy London life he experienced as a young man. The bewitching beauty of the landscape of Sligo, steeped in folklore, were the true rhythms which brought on the ‘state of perhaps real trance’, allowing him to…