Discuss Ways in Which Yeats Approaches Age in Among School Children & Other Poems You Have Studied.

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“Old clothes upon an old stick to scare the birds” discuss ways in which Yeats approaches age in ‘Among School Children’ & other poems you have studied. Yeats’ mind & thinking is very much focused on age as is clear in ‘Among School Children’ & some of his other poems. Age is so important to Yeats & he does run through all the ways it affects him & there are many diverse theories he has as to its effects. Age is a key aspect of ‘Among School Children’ purely because it is based around a visit he made to a Montessori school as “A sixty-year-old smiling public man.” & this smiling man is his own realisation of the effects of youth, & the accepting mask he uses to cover this. Yeats finds himself drawing comparisons between his educational experiences & those of a younger generation, “in the best modern way”, yet he believes that lives true lessons don't come from the classroom, which is relevant for all generations not just the one he is witnessing before him. These lessons referred to include that of love, something that has controversially dominated Yeats life & his works, his love for Maud Gonne. His love for her has lasted nineteen years as we can gather from another of his poems ‘The Wild Swans at Coole’, “The nineteenth autumn has come upon me / since I first made my count”, this is reference to the first time he visited Coole, a lake in Ireland, which was with Maud. For Yeats she disappeared too early, “before I had well finished” yet his love has remained unrequited despite the aging process, “Unwearied still, lover by lover”. For his love to remain shows the depth of it as in ‘Among School Children’ being around youth clearly reminds him of Maud as a young woman, “I dream of a Ledaean body” & he lusts for her as she was then, similar to ‘Broken Dreams’. “Where those that have obeyed the holy law / Paddle and are perfect. Leave unchanged / the hands that I have kissed, / for old sakes sake.” He is clearly nostalgic for...
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