Yeats Essay

Topics: Death, Ageing, Gerontology Pages: 2 (773 words) Published: June 23, 2013
“Texts continue to be valued because they engage us in significant ideas”. Why is your prescribed text considered worthy of being valued?

Yeats’ timeless poetry continues to engage readers through its ability to examine fundamental facets of human experience through a variety of perspectives. “Wild Swans at Coole” (WSaC) and “When You Are Old” (WYAO) were both written by Yeats during times of emotional turmoil, in which he experienced love struggles and the realisation of the inevitability of ageing. The nature of change and stability is examined throughout Yeats’ poem, ‘Wild Swans at Coole’. Yeats highlights the passing of time, and the effect it has on him through the use of 1st person narration. The inevitability of ageing and its impact on an individual’s emotional well-being is revealed through Yeats’ poetry. The impact of the passing of time on an individual and the importance of tradition become evident in the given texts.

The nature of change and stability is examined throughout Yeats’ poem, WSaC. Yeats regularly visited Coole Park to write his poetry, a location that aided him in maintaining emotional stability. The use of powerful natural imagery, “upon the brimming waters among the stones”, reveals that nature is powerful and stable. This effectively emphasises his realisation of his own instability, as he realises that much has changed in his life since he first visited Coole Park. Yeats’ loneliness and fragility, “and now my heart is sore”, is juxtaposed heavily by the power and strength of the swans, that Yeats demonstrates through use of onomatopoeia, in their “clamorous” wings. This demonstrates Yeats’ sadness, as he finally comes to terms with the fact that he has left his youth behind.

The impact of changing relationships on an individual becomes clear in Yeats’ poem, WYAO. Yeats depicts the love struggle he experienced with Maud Gonne over many years, and reveals the suffering he faced as a result throughout the poem. The use of...
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