Easter Rising and Yeats

Topics: William Butler Yeats, Easter Rising, Poetry Pages: 3 (1042 words) Published: September 17, 2013
Tension between an individual and life experiences is what creates interest in the poetry of William Butler Yeats. To what extent does this statement reflect your response to Easter 1916 and at least one other Yeats poem set for study

Yeats derives his poetic strength from the fusion of his life experiences and his perspective of the world. The tension in the poetry is deeply rooted in the troubled political context of his time and the personal disappointment he suffered throughout his life. He transformed these things into exquisite poetry. As T.S Eliot describe he was able to articulate the human condition and express the timeless truths which are valued by human beings universally. Yeats particularly demonstrates how a poet can reflect the various concerns of his age while maintaining a distinctive voice hence transcending the limitations of time. Yeats expresses this through the two poems "Easter 1916" and "Leda and the Swan". The tension in Yeats poetry can be depicted in "Easter 1916" As critics such as Dr Edward Said argued Yeats' poetry "belongs to a tradition of Post-colonial literature" since the Irish have suffered for centuries under English colonial rule. Yeats rejected the English cultural domination and transformed and established a unique and independent Irish culture. One of the strongest issues facing the world today, war, is depicted in Yeats’ “Easter 1916”. It was, and still today is, a powerful political poem. It tells the story of the Irish Republican Rebellion against the British and addresses Romanticism, history and Yeats personal ageing process and the ageing of the world. “In the first stanza, the poet does not address the rebellion as an issue – until the last line, “All’s changed, changed utterly: a terrible beauty is born”. The oxymoron ” A terrible beauty is born.” is the sense of identity that was born out of the unexpected war towards Irish Independence from England. The adjective "terrible" refers to the violence and...
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