A personal response to the poetry of W.B Yeats
In my opinion W.B Yeats is one of Ireland’s greatest poets. His work is saturated with descriptive imagery, deep personal feelings and political opinions. This patriotic poet also gives us an insight into life during the 1900’s as well as his own personal life. The poetry of W.B Yeats contains powerful metaphors and imagery that have a very memorable quality to them. There are also dynamic contrasts in every poem which makes him stand out amongst other poets. Although I don’t have a great interest in Irish history I must say that I really enjoyed Yeats political poems set in early twentieth century Ireland. This, can be best seen in “September 1913”, in this poem Yeats launches a powerful controversial argument against the merchant classes. Yeats condemns those who “add the half pence to the pence” and “fumble in a greasy till”. Yeats writes of how the “marrow” has been “dried from the bone” of the country. However Yeats bitter argument reaches a climax in the third stanza where Yeats presents a list of Ireland’s dead heroes, glorifying them and all they have done for Ireland, for they were “the names that stilled your childish play.” The repetition of ‘for this’ really highlights what these heroes have done but Yeats concludes that they have died in vain because they definitely did not die for the money-driven Ireland that Yeats despises. In my opinion Yeats honesty is the best aspect of this poem, you get a real sense of how angry Yeats is and his disillusionment in Ireland, this sets Yeats apart from any other poet on my course. In the final stanza Yeats imagines bring all “those exiles” brought back but then realizes that they would be dismissed as madmen- “some woman’s yellow hair has maddened every mother’s son”. The poem ends on a pessimistic note: “but let them be, they’re dead and gone, they’re with O’Leary in the grave” Yeats concludes that it is pointless trying to raise the memories of the heroic...
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