Question: Through its portrayal of human experience, Yeat’s poetry reinforces the significance of desire”
To what extent does your interpretation of Yeat’s poetry support this view?
Yeat’s pursuit to retain permanence for age and love, and the cultural impacts of the Irish revolution around him are the universal tensions and desires reflected in his poetry. “The Wild Swan’s at Coole” and “Easter 1916” unifies the understanding of life complexities and also its contradictions; the “beauty” of life, yet still the cruel existence of suffering. Yeat’s poetry, intends to release emotions beyond earthly bounds and provides insight of relating as a human being, and ultimately leaving behind a legacy, his art, to underpin the importance of desire.
Humanity’s ungraspable longing for a sense of permanence such for beauty, aging and love, acquires tones of both contemplation and despair such seen in The Wild Swans At Coole. This reception of despondency is portrayed in the juxtaposition by the “sore heart” of an “aging poet”, with the “brilliant creatures” whose “hearts have not grown old”. In addition to this physical pain, it is the sense of loss that signifies humanity’s desire for something that is lasting. Yeats clearly admires the nature; especially the “autumn beauty”, as he “counts” his “nineteenth” one. The water imagery throughout described as detailed observations of “brimming” and his careful observations of the swans displays his meditation and appreciation through nature, but then echoes his envy towards their beauty and apparent immortality being different to himself. Yeat’s life develops symbolically as a “woodland path”- eventually becoming metaphorically “dry” and miserable. This portrays a sense of reflection as time passes, looking back, showing that Yeats “unwearied still” holds onto his desire to love, despite already knowing it is unaquirable as it has