Analysis on "To Ireland in the Coming Times"

Topics: William Butler Yeats, Ireland, Maud Gonne Pages: 5 (1617 words) Published: July 31, 2013
Cindy R Guzman
March 5th, 2013

Analysis of “To Ireland In The Coming Times”
Yeats is known as an influential poet of the 20th century. His love and affection for Ireland and his people can be seen in many of his poems. In “To Ireland in the coming times” Yeats passion for Ireland and the revolution against Britain at the time can be seen in his writing. Ireland was undergoing a transition from a nation under British rule to a nation of its own with an identity. Many poets, Yeats included, helped fuel this revolution through their writing. Yeats theme through out the poem is consistent; Ireland is a strong nation and no matter what the obstacles the nation has always and will always overcome. Yeats makes it very clear in many of the stanzas that he loves Ireland and that his nation is great. Yeats also makes it very clear that he knows Ireland is going to go through hardships during and after the revolution, but that his great nation will prevail.

William Butler Yeats was born on June 13, 1865 to parents John Butler Yeats and Susan Mary Pollexfen. His father, John Butler Yeats, was a known portrait painter and lawyer. Yeats family was very well off his father having steady income and his mother being from a very wealthy family. Yeats went to school in both London and Ireland, but he finished his education in Dublin at The Metropolitan School of Art in 1886. During his time at The Metropolitan School of Art, some of his pieces of writing were published in the Dublin University Review. After finishing his education Yeats and his family relocated to London. During this time Yeats progressed in his writing and influence in the literary world. He would often become homesick for Ireland and would write poems about his longing to be back home. One of the poems resulting from his homesickness was, “The Lake Isle of Innisfree”.

In 1889 Yeats life changed forever, he met the love of his love Maud Gonne. Gonne was a poet, feminist, actress, and a revolutionist, because of her Yeats started to be more engaged in the revolution that was taking place in Ireland. His love for Gonne can be seen in many of his poems and although he proposed several times, she always declined. In 1911 he met Georgie Hyde Lees, and on October 20th, 1917 they wed. They had two children together, Anne Yeats and Michael Yeats. Lees shared Yeats same interest in Ireland’s mystical and mythical past. She introduced him to automatic writing and from there he was able to write “A Vision” (1925). In 1922 Yeats received an honorary degree from Trinity College in Dublin, at this time the Irish civil war had started. That same year he was given a seat in the Irish senate, where he remained for 6 years before resigning due to failing health. The following year in December of 1923 Yeats was awarded the Nobel Prize for his literary works. In 1939 on January 28th at the age of seventy-three Yeats died. Yeats legacy, passion, and love for Ireland will continue to live on, and he will remain one of the greatest writers of the 20th century. The theme for “To Ireland In The Coming Times” is that Ireland is a strong nation and always overcomes hardships. The setting for the poem is very essential to the message that Yeats is trying to direct. Ireland during the time was going through a revolution to separate itself from Britain and become its own nation. Many poets, including Yeats, were involved in the political movement and revolution. Their form of fighting and showing support of the cause was through their writing and work. Ireland was going through many changes and Yeats writing shows this in many ways. Without the revolution and turmoil in Ireland at the time the writing that Yeats accomplished might not have existed. Other poets that were involved in the political revolution are Thomas Osborne Davis, James Clarence Mangan, and Sir Samuel Ferguson. Yeats mentions these poets in “ To Ireland In The Coming Times”, but he does not mention them in a...

Cited: "William Butler Yeats - Biography". Nobelprize.org. 10 Mar 2013 http://www.nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/literature/laureates/1923/yeats-bio.html
"William Butler Yeats." 2013. The Biography Channel website. Mar 10 2013, 12:13 http://www.biography.com/people/william-butler-yeats-9538857.
Cindy R Guzman
March 5, 2013
William Butler Yeats
“To Ireland In The Coming Times”
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