Love and Death
(Analysis of “When You are Old” and “An Irish Airman Foresees His Death” by W.B.Yeats) Ⅰ. Love
In William Butler Yeats poem "When You Are Old," an anonymous narrator requests of a former lover to remember her youth and his love for her, creating a surreal sense of mystery that only reveals some shadows of his own past love life. Yeats' diction changes as the poem progresses from stanza to stanza. In the first stanza, I believe the narrator is a man, who wrote this poem for his beloved to read after he died. His beloved is growing old, sitting next to the fire to keep warm (as you grow older your skin thins, and you are more susceptible to cold temperatures). He wants her to remember her youth; he wants her to remember the good times and the bad. People inevitably change over time, and he wants her to remember the innocence that she once had; how her youthful naivety filled her with unwavering hope for a wonderful future. In the second stanza, she was a great beauty that was loved by many when she was young; the boys were captivated by her charm, and youthful attitude. There was only one man that loved who she was on the inside; the others were merely attracted to her beauty. He loved her adventurous soul. He loved her during the good times and the bad; his love was unwavering. In the third stanza, He is looking down upon her from Heaven's glowing gates; he is sad that he had to leave her, but he leaves her this poem. He paces the heavenly mountains, eagerly awaits the time when they will be reunited. He hides his face in the stars, so that she can't see his pain.
W.B. Yeats has created rhythm in his poem "When You Are Old" by using a familiar meter, simple rhyme scheme and by enhancing these forms with effective poetic devices and substitutions. Yeats uses the form, iambic pentameter, to create a steady rhythm. The use of a simplistic rhyme scheme does not mean the poem is simple by any means. In fact, it is just the opposite. The use of an...
Please join StudyMode to read the full document