An Irish Airman Foresees His Death

‘An Irish Airman Foresees His Death’
Part of the collection ‘The wild swans at Coole’ this poem is about an Irish Airman in World War One and the poem mainly focuses on the death in World War One. There are expressions of romantic individuality. And we get the impression that the air man thinks by knowing he is going to die, he is free. The poem is classes as an anti war poem and uses the idea of an airman looking down on life. This independent, lonesome figure fighting for Ireland can be linked to ‘The Fisherman’ as Yeats perfect Irishman is a independent man fighting for Ireland. It is written in first person from the airmans point of view.


The Second Coming

From the colection entitled ‘Michael Robartes and the dancer’ this poem is about Yeats vision of the second coming. When Christ comes to judge the living from the dead. But Yeats sees it as a Nast unwanted creature. Doctor Craddock, “Yeats believes the second coming is not a gently saviours but an uncoils monster” and it is also described as “A metaphor for the new age”. The main themes are chaos, evil, apocalyptic vision, harsh and dark. In 1918 he saw the violence as a new historical phase interpretation of a ruined world. The poem uses monosyllables and the lack of stopping gives energy. There are aggressive and disturbing words used and he links to unstoppable forces such as Hitler. He uses the words ‘Spiritus Mundi’ which links to the spirt world as he believes there is an elements of the supernatural in the poem.

Leda and The Swan

This poem in ‘The Tower’ collection, is about the Greek god Zeus disguised as a swan who rapes a girl. The baby that is born from this rape is Helen of Troy and links into the Greek myths. The main themes of this poem are corruption, abuse of power, war, violence and links to the horrors of the Irish war of independence. The rhyme scheme is every other line. In the first stanza there is violent imagery and a sense of theatrical/dramatic language. There is surprise as the young girl is overpowered by the swan. The use of a colon adds to the effect of shock. It gives the impression the swan is determined in this violent sexual act. The second stanza has erotic language in it as focus on the forcefulness of this power Zeus has over her. The third one is about him taking control and the possible suggestion of him taking her virginity, or that it is a mythical reference to breaking the walls of Troy. It also mentions ‘Agamemnon’ which was a city around Troy. The final stanza questions whether she knows what has happened and understands it. Does she know or just assume. Doctor M Craddock spoke about the poem, “Are humans mere children in understanding beside the Gods or forces that rule the world or history”.

Easter 1916

Under the collections entitled ‘Michael Robartes and the dancer’ it is a answer to the poem September 1913. The date links to the rebellion in Ireland and mentions certain heroes in the uprising. The poem celebrates glorious failure and is an epitaph to those who died. It names individuals in a powerful way and he expresses his opinion about how Ireland will never be the same. He has complex attitudes to events and characteristics not of Yeats’ style. This poem shows the more mature side of Yeats. The first stanza reflects on a personal view of someone walking and the third links to nature.

The Fisherman

‘The Wilde Swans At Coole’ is the collection this poem is in. It is mainly an observation of Yeats idea of a proper Irish man who is an isolated individual who is happy to be alone. There is a simple style of poetry represents his doubt and ambiguous and rhythmical/hypnotic quality to the poem. Yeats gives the impression that he hopes the fisherman will always be there as an Irish background.

The Cold Heaven

This poem is also in the collection named ‘Responsibilities’ and mainly has a sad tone as it raises the possibility that heaven is a state of mind. This poem reflects a lot about his failures in love and talks about how Maude has gone in the line “…love crossed long ago;” and about emotions he thought he’d lost. He used no punctuation near the end to give the emphasis that the words are waves. He uses the repetition on an oxymoron of ice and long lines of poem prophets awareness to the reader.

September 1913

This poem is in the collection entitled ‘Responsibilities’ and was written during the middle of his life. It is a highly reflective poem. The use of the strong ABAB rhyme scheme maintains a spiteful and accusatory tone. The language in the poem is straight forward and plain but end in a bitter closure for the poem. It includes historical names and refers to his lover Maude; “You’d cry, ‘Some woman’s yellow hair'” and his last line “They’re with O’Leary in the grave” links to his opinion of how they are not properly remembered by their culture they fought to save.