The Style and Content of William Butler Yeats

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The Style and Content of William Butler Yeats

William Butler Yeats was a man who is known for his extraordinary writings of the nineteenth century, and is considered to be one of the greatest poets of the English language. Yeats was a poet with extensive knowledge and was thought to have been born ahead of his time. Throughout his poetry and literary works he uses a combination of technique and style to express his meaningful ideas. Yeats became a pioneering poet who had a revolutionary type of style and content throughout all of his works. In these analyzed poems, Yeats demonstrates how he is authentically unique, through his innovative utilization of style and content.
In the different stages of William Butler Yeats' life, the subject matter of his poems changes as if they were phases. During the beginning stage of his life he had many poetic themes that displayed; romantic, dreamy, escapist, and anti-Victorian subjects and content matter (Anne Mary 1st). Yeats displays some of these themes in one of his earlier poems called "When You Are Old," where he uses a dreamy type of nostalgic premise to the poem. In this poem Yeats describes a woman who is in the future reminiscing over her unforgotten pastimes. The main theme of this somber poem is a depressing one about unrequited love, into which Yeats influences in an interesting way. Yeats achieves this poems dreamlike quiet feeling to it by using an undulating (ABBA) rhythmic scheme along with the use of straightforward, soft-sounding, words that are nonetheless powerful (Anne Mary 2nd).
"When You Are Old" is about an old widowed woman who looks back to her young and graceful days when she was desired by many, but never loved by the one man who truly loved her. The lonesome woman's memories make her grieve over her lost past, of her former lover, with whom that she'd never acknowledged his love for. This poem has a hypnotic quality to the descriptions that are used which entrances the reader, in the beginning,



Cited: Anne, Mary (1st), Andrade Ph.D. Sabbatical Report: British Literature II. 12 Nov. 1999 22 Mar 2007. < http://ftp.ccccd.edu/andrade/britlit/yeats/stages.html > Anne, Mary (2nd), Andrade Ph.D

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