Do you ever reminisce about a lover that you had in your early years? Have you ever been young and deeply in love with someone and fascinated by his or her beauty? WB Yeats’ poem “When You Are Old and Grey” is a poem that he wrote to express those emotions. The man once loved a woman who he never seems to forget even at his old age. Even though he was forgotten by the woman, he still fells the same way he felt towards her at a very young age despite of the woman’s rejection as he mentions in his poem: “how love fled” – line 10
The structure of the poem is balanced since it has 3 stanzas, all with the same number of lines, which was 4.The poem is 12 lines in total .The mood is unhappy, depressed, and nostalgic of the romance that he lost and left him broken hearted. Sadness is shown within the writer’s tone as well as admiration and passion. The sadness is shown when Yeats said:“ Murmur a little sadly “line 10. “And dream of the soft look your eyes had once and of their shadows deep”-line 4 proves the writer’s admiration for his old lover and no matter how much she changed, he loves her just as he “loved the sorrows of [her] changing face” –line 8.
The poem has rhythm and some rhyming words include: “sleep-deep” –line 1 and 4, “book-look”-line2 and 3,”grace-face”line 5 and 8, and the list goes on. WB Yeats’ language is very descriptive. He mentions a lot of details like “when you are old and grey and full of sleep”-line 1. The writer is also able to keep on describing his lover by repeating “and” in the start of most of the lines. The poem includes literary devices such as the personification shown in “love fled” –line 10.
Within the various symbols in the poem some include: “Full of sleep” found within the first line of the poem as it symbolizes tiredness and the lack of energy and perhaps the end of life, which proves the extent of WB’S love which never seems to fade away no matter how much time passes. “Old and grey”...