The Man and the Echo

In this haunting poem, Yeats is an imaginary dialogue with his own cool in a mystical place. He asks questions about life and death. The echo seems to suggest that he gives up but the poet defies this negativity in a passionate defence of the life of the mind. The echo then goes on to repeat its sense of futility but the argument over meaning and significance is interrupted by the blind difference of the world of nature and can reach no conclusion.

If Among School Children asks questions of life and art and the possibilities of fulfilment this curious and later haunting poem expresses more doubt and uncertainty of the value and meaning of the poet. But in a way that all inserts the vital importance of the life of the mind and art. It’s a poem reflecting on death. Another person stations of the drama if the human soul asking great quiets ion and finding only the truth. A mystical place at one of the mountains in slider, the journey is one of the Grecian journey to the arrival of the orical at delton. Only here the answers to the great questions the poet poses a short echoes of his own words.

In this secret place which is never touched by light the poet seeming utterly alone with his thoughts and is rather cut off from the world undergoes a final reckoning with his souls. The lines bitter/terse intensity and simple full rhymes give the poem it’s powerful atmosphere. They give the poem a chant life feel and there’s the quality of an epitaf of some of the words. But the overwhelming affect in extremes reaching in this dark place of his mind to the limit of his own understanding. It’s tantalising in the poem that the separate voice takes and alters the mans meaning and changes them in addition to the bleak deadening echo of his own predicament in the face of death. The echo cannot give him and independent answers back, a man can only hear his own echo a reflection of his own cravings, a mirror of his own guilty secrets, a bleak cold a formation of his existential loneliness. The existence of two voice and then a third which is nature crying out out that cuts mans debate with himself suggesting a reality that is highly mysterious and illusion. The man who is the dying poet desires an answer, an explanation, a kind of closure but the voices reverberate on in their own haunting, illusive way.

•Conversations and echoes when Yeats pauses except for end which conjures up the idea of death.

•Self doubt.

•Uses rhyming couplets, 4 feet per line, 7-8 syllable lines hard echo voice. Independent from poets that is chilling like rabbit which is a reminder of violence and separate world of nature, many of his poems are two views and debating. (Like in Easter 1916).

•Plain talk but has a slow and controlled pace created by the metre of the poem. The straightforwardness of the language says he is assessing his past and looks forward to death.


Among School Children

Among School Children, talks about broken dreams of life, perfection that can be envisaged in art labours of love, creation and understanding and being. Yeats was a senior on the new Irish state when he wrote this and was a widely recognised poet and public figure who gained a lot of fame and respect. He was invited to do a school inspection hitch the poem is based around. The poem reaches into questions about old age and tragic and triumphant in human condition and art which is similar to ‘Sailing to Byzantium’. Yeats questions the point of life, education, growing up and love. He believes it all ends up in old age, tragedy and broken dreams.

He questions:
•Is life worth the trouble of being born.
•What does life mean.
•Great philosophies appearing to be ridiculous.
•Make of perfection of art and imagination.

Many times Yeats dwells on physical decay. The iron that whilst the body declines, the spirit and imagination along with passion remain alive and vital. Human pain sound vivid like an echo. Tension at work in the poem that Yeats imagination can bring tools past with such intensity yet he is stuck in a physical world that betrays his dreams and is acting a part in physical life. Imagination has all the intensity and vitality, real life leads to false dreams. Torn between comfortable pose outwardly and crying inwardly. Neither real life of imagination can be reconciled. Yeats envies and potties the children of growing up and becoming adults.

•Resignation, bitterness and disillusion of betrayed hopes.
•Thinks of the harshness of life which is developed in verse three.
•The time of wry in writing, perhaps ironic.
•Taught in best modern way of its time, leaning is formed unlike tumultuous education if real life that awaits them and poet has had.
•The movement from children to single child (like Maude Gone) mediation on relationship between natural things and images.

•Time, identify, platonic ideas of physical world.

•Resembling of Ladan body.
•Shocking image to bring up in a school.
•Lada association in Maude Gone.

•First person narrative.
•Conversational in tone.
•Sense of Yeats allowing the sensual music.
•Cannot isolate format and content as they blend together to aid meaning.

•abababcc rhyme scheme.
•Roman numerals to add formality.

The Wild Swans At Coole

The poem ‘The Wild Swans at Coole’ is written in a very regular stanza form: five six-line stanzas, each written in a roughly iambic meter. The rhyme scheme in each stanza is ABCBDD. The poem has a contrast where the stone is still yet the swan moves and is a modified ballet format tries to include rhyming couplets in an image of perfection. Yeats reflects on his age in the first line, as he is middle aged. The mention of a mirror to heaven in line three. It is spoken in the present tense. He refers to having an incomplete life and about his broken love with Maude Gone. His shattered illusions of love and Ireland are also told of. He emphasises the sorrow and pain of growing older and talks about how it could be the end of his life and time is running out. Originally the third stanza should have been the end of the poem but Yeats redrafted it and extended the poem. He then goes on to talk about time he hasn’t got and uses the techniques of an oxymoron and alliteration. He feels deserted and that he is an oxymoron to the swans he’s watching. He repeats the image of still water and uses monosyllables on a gentle beat and poky syllables to help balance it. The last verse there is a lack of rhyme and rhythm to help isolate and dispel his vision. He ends on a sense of longing and change with a sense of hope. The final verse is about him reflecting and feeling lonely. He ends on a rhetorical question which could interpreted as his lover Maude Gone has ‘flown away’ and left him.

Sailing to Byzantium

Yeats dismisses life in Ireland, vitality of nature and the living world. This poem can offer him no consolation due to his old age. He retreats into his imagination; a mythical idea of city of Byzantium. The worship of immortal art offers a life that goes beyond limit of nature. Yeats at this point has no physical strength or appearance and he feels he can’t escape reality. The poem dramatises Yeats own struggle of old age and death and has an impassioned plea through art. He’s under a cold philosophical point that art is superior to a nature that must die. In his imagination Yeats says goodbye to Ireland and sails to Byzantium. The city represents the best of high and ancient culture. The classical civilisation meant a lot to Yeats as to all great writers. He links poetry to the classical world. Lada and the swan -rewrote methyl, brings parallels between ancient and modern world. Dr Craddock “Byzantium represents an ideal, where art is revered and spiritual wisdom expressed in fantastic sculpture. Yeats Byzantium is totally imaginary – a place where art is treasured and can last. Which makes up for the fact that man must die. It runs through the English romantic tradition. From Blake to Shelly to late works of Ruskin and Morris ending with Yeats. Strong sense of yearning, power an hope. Which comes from fact he desperately wants visit this place. Protagonist in poem is not Yeats but a symbol of Yeats the artist and Yeats the man. God in this poem is less if a Christian God and more of a supreme artist. Yeats half achieves what he desires and he desires exile from world of youth. Imaginative arrival of this place embodies deepest ideas of civilisation, culture and order. The same time paradoxes in the poem, urgency of human and vogues of the natural age are in curious contrast of this poem to sleepy repetitive reality which we are left with.

•Art and Nature – how great art outstrips nature.
•How great civilisation can control nature.
•Schopenhauer called art the flower of existence.

•Strict formal, weighty rhyme scheme of abababcc.

•Reflects the language from the book of The Golden Bough – Frazer in 1922. About cult and magic.
•Language shows the he’s read it.

•Seperate Roman numeral standards. This adds sense of formality.
•Yeats symbolism is similar to Karl Young and similar to Wilde.