W.B. Yeats (1865-1939) is an Irish poet and dramatist. He was a leader of the Irish Renaissance and one of the foremost writers of the 20th century. Yeats is the greatest versatile poet of the century. Yeats was at heart a dreamer, a visionary fascinated by folk-lore, and the superstitions of the Irish peasantry. He was a symbolist poet. His best known collections from the latter period are: ‘The Tower’ (1928), including the poems ‘Sailing to Byzantium ’and ‘Leda and Swan’ and ‘The Winding Stair’ (1929). He was awarded the Nobel Prize for the literature in 1923.
This poem “The Lamentation of the Old Pensioner” (1939)’ is a revised version of Yeats earlier poem ‘The old Pensioner’ (1890). This poem presents the poet’s past memories of his youth which became more painful when he looks at his present state and contrasts his time of youth with his state in the old age.
In the first two lines of the first stanza, the poet talks about his present situation and compares his life with the broken tree. In the rest of the other four lines of the first stanza, he talks about his past. He says that when he was young man, he was powerful and the people used to talk to him either about love or politics. But now nobody cares him. He is no more powerful and young enough to attract the youths. He splits on the face of the time because the time has transfigured him into this miserable condition. Thus, the poet compares present situation with that of past psychologically.
In the second stanza of the poem, the poet draws the contrastive picture of youth and old age. The poet says that the lads (youths) are playing in the field but cruelly they don’t notice the presence of the old man. Some times they behave like rascals which expose the extreme of human cruelty. These youths do not care the old man (the poet). The old man says that his companions are against the time that has transfigured him into the old age.
In the last stanza of the poem, the...