Integral to texts that endure the test of time is their representation of what is to be human
Yeats’ poetry has survived over a century due to his depiction of various human states both in himself and those in the world around him. A personal and depressive depiction of humans is seen used in “The wild swans at Coole,” where Yeats reflects on the final rejection from Maud Gonne whom he was in love with. A juxtaposed human state is seen in “The Second Coming,” where Yeats depicts the chaotic and destructive nature of humans as a result of an external spiritual/religious force being removed. Both poems depict different representations of what is to be human, however both depictions are still very relevant in today’s society.
In “The Wild Swans at Coole,” Yeats uses oxymoronic metaphors of the season “autumn beauty,” to represent the depressive state he was feeling. While “autumn,” has connotations of decay, Yeats views the season as “beautiful,” to emphasise the self-pity he is experiencing. Sexual tension and frustration is also conveyed through metaphors; “woodland paths are dry,” refers to the bleak and dry season of autumn but also to Yeats’ lack of sexual action as a result of chasing after Maud for such a long time. This sexual desire is emphasised through symbolism of the “swans,” as when these creatures’ wings open, they bare a remarkable resemblance to the male genitalia. Visual imagery of the “October twilight,” furthers the emphasis on Yeats’ depression and sadness as October in Ireland sees the arrival of grey skies which depicts Yeats’ conscience to his aging self. The grey skies that come in October metaphorically represent grey hair that Yeats’ is/will shortly grow as a result of his aging. As “twilight,” is the point between day and night, Yeats’ sees his youth disappearing with the day. Yeats is reminded later in the poem of his inevitable aging by the swan’s wings as they create a “bell-beat of their wings,” above his head. The...
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