Features of Literary Communication in When You Are Old

Topics: Poetry, Linguistics, Literature Pages: 3 (843 words) Published: December 25, 2010
For most of the time, we can easily verify whether a piece of essay or just a paragraph is (part of) a literary work or not. That’s because most of the literary works have some certain kind of features that make them distinguishable, especially from daily communication. In the following paragraphs, some of these features will be discussed. The following is a famous piece of work written by W.B.Yeats, an Irish poet and dramatist, praised as “one of the foremost figures in the 20th century”.

When You Are Old
When you are old and gray and full of sleep
And nodding by the fire, take down this book,
And slowly read, and dream of the soft look
Your eyes had once, and of their shadows deep;

How many loved your moments of glad grace,
And loved your beauty with love false or true;
But one man loved the pilgrim soul in you,
And loved the sorrows of your changing face;

And bending down beside the glowing bars,
Murmur, a little sadly, how love fled
And paced upon the mountains overhead,
And hid his face amid a crowd of stars.
W.B.Yeats, When You Are Old

1. Contextual dislocation and frictionality
When having casual daily communication, most of the time we want to convey and receive information clearly, correctly and efficiently. As a result, what we say or write are usually logical and follow the sequence of time or place. However, in literary works, contextual dislocation and frictionality may appear to obtain some certain effects. In this poem, the verses or the lines do not follow a certain way of narration strictly. In the first verse, the author succeeded in drawing a possible picture of the future. Initially the narrator describes a scene of an old woman(his best love)sleeping by the fire. Then the narrator recalled the old scene, like the soft look of the woman’s eyes, and the deep shadow, which will no longer be seen when the woman grows old. Different from the first verse, the second...
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