William Butler Yeats
Another Story About the Kind Little Red Riding Hood
An Irish poet, W.B. Yeats once said that “Storytellers make us remember what mankind would have been like had not fear and the failing will, and the laws of nature tripped up its heel”.Over the time, people’s interest in folk and fairytales are getting away because of the latest technology our modern society have. Folk and fairytales made their childhood so different and unique. The memories they shared with their family will always be memorable.The story of Little Red Riding Hood is one of the most popular folk tales. This folktale has three different versions like from Delarue, Perrault and Grimm brothers. Every version has its own twist created. It is a classic tale which tells us to fight with bad and cruel things. It also tells us about gender classes and roles, equality and a certain attitude which defines them a good or bad person. The two stories which will be compared is Perrault’s story and Grimm brother story. Both have different climax at the end and both teaches us a moral lesson. At last, you will know further the difference between Little Red Riding Hood and Red Cap.
The Perrault was writing this story late 1600’s. During that specific period, gender roles and gender has a great impact in every individual. Most of the men were farmer, fisherman, baker, and black smith while the women were housewives, nun, and servants. “What we see in Perrault’s version is the adaptation of a crude folktale to the more sophisticated tastes of high society. His version was not meant for children to read, usually it was for rich people.It has sexual and dirty contents. His version has a bad ending. The little girl was eaten by the wolf because he was hungry.The little girl was aware that something is wrong but then she continues to stay with wolf. She was seducing the wolf maybe she might be saved. Lastly, the Grimm brother’s version which was made hundred years back in Germany.During 1800’s, the gender roles and classes was still different. The role of the women were children, house or kitchen and church. And during this period, the women started to study at schools while men has the biggest role. They are the one who is earning and have right to study.
Lastly, the certain attitudes of the person whether he or she is abad or good person. France, for example, had indistinguishable sorts of issues from whatever is left of Europe: political, social and monetary strain exacerbated by religious division. Indeed, even equipped rulers and authorities had trouble administering France right now. “At that, the wicked wolf threw himself upon Little Red Riding Hood and gobbled her up too”.The wolf symbolizes evilness, he is very greedy and want to trap people with his sweet talks. He ate the grandmother and her grand daughter at last. The period of Grimm in Germany in early 1800’s had too much changes most especially in social change. A major social change was between 1800-1850 Depending on locale, was the finish of the conventional house framework, in which the owner’s family lived respectively in one huge working with the servants and. They rearranged into discrete living game plans. The owner’s wife no longer taking charge of all the household chores. A hunter was just passing, and he thought: “how old woman is snoring! I’s better go and see what is wrong.”He entered the house and went to the room and saw the wolfing laying down. He killed the evilness in the house and the saved the two peoples. The hunter is sign of good and brave man.
Analysis of “The Second Coming” by W.b. Yeats
W.B. Yeats’ “The Second Coming” is a bold, modernist commentary on a changed society following the end of World War I. Through his use of imagery, as well as harsh wording, Yeats breaks down the social depictions that were once ordinary during the Romantic period in literature. In a complete turnaround from the language and idealized imagery characteristic of Romanticism, Yeats, instead, forces the reader to confront what he sees as the truth of a new modernist world that is far from picturesque.
In the first two lines of “The Second Coming, ” Yeats paints a clear picture of the disorder that appears in his perception of the world. “Turning and turning in the widening gyre, the falcon cannot hear the falconer.” The image of this large, powerful bird spinning out of control in mid-air is a powerful one. What’s more is that this encouraging, uncontrolled force “cannot hear the falconer,” no longer able to be tamed by the very being designed to control it as the separation between it and the falconer grows. Already, Yeats seems to be challenging the way nature is normally depicted in Romantic literature in exchange for a more modernist view that points out disorder and questions a man’s relationship to nature and thereby, God instead of admiring it. Yeats’ intentional use of diction here is worth noting. Instead of selecting words like “spinning,” “spiral,” or “lark,” he chooses the words “turning,” “gyre,” and “falconer”. It furthers the setting of the dark mood of the poem. Together, the imagery and diction of the first two lines serve to make the reader uncomfortable and turn the idea of a perfect world upside down.
Historical context is an indication of modernist literature since the authors of this era are often making a social commentary about the day, and “The Second Coming” is no exception to this idea. Written in the aftermath of the carnage that followed World War I, a war that ultimately claimed millions of lives in Europe and dismantled long-standing systems of order amongst several nations, this poem transports the reader through three phases of war: the battle for control, the engagement, and the carnage of war. While in the first two lines, the falconer battles the falcon for control, in lines three and four “Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold; Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,” Yeats is no longer hinting at or foreshadowing what is to come but rather forcing the reader to watch the mayhem unfold. These lines, with their rough and trite meter, are abrupt and unsettling, intensifying feelings of discomfort in the reader as the fight ensues. As the center breaks, the world as Yeats once knew it ceases to exist, propelling him to a reckoning of sorts. This estamination is, in large part, an intended function of modernist literature – a reckoning of truth and an idealized world and the chasm that lies between them, meant to make the reader question the world around them and their place in it.
Modernist writers, like Yeats, seek to tell the bare truth. This is nothing more obvious than in lines five and six; as the imagery becomes more violent, gruesome depictions of the “blood-dimmed tide” speak to the third phase of war, the aftermath where chaos abounds as “innocence is drowned.” Millions lost their lives in World War I, and Yeats even suggests that more war is to come since humankind’s innocence is dead, and the good comes down to the blood-drenched waves of evil. Whether Yeats’ commentary makes the reader uncomfortable is of no consequence but rather the point. Calling attention to the disorder and injustices they identify in the world, modernist writers aim to throw off the reader, perhaps in an effort to move the reader to action- to take up the repairs of order, a new world order, as his condition.
Modernism in literature, characterized by a desire to reveal the world as it is, often tackles subjects considered prohibited in romantic literature. Themes like the massacre of war and death and evil have no real place or context within romantic literature’s idealized view of the world. Yeats, by contrast, is a product of the modernist period that seeks to inform the reader’s social attention by disturbing once widely-held constructs and pointing out the disorder in his world, having shed the glasses of Romanticism in exchange for the new lens of Modernism, where harsh realities and ideals cannot concur.
Things Change with Time
William Butler Yeats was an active participant in the Irish war for independence. Due to his experiences in the war he writes in a way that speaks negatively of the tragic event. He uses emotion, politics, imagery, and beauty in his poetry. which in the end, helps him develop his craft. His growth and experience as a poet shows from the peaceful “Lake Isle of Innisfree” to the intense “An Irish Airman Foresees his Death.” A review of these two pieces would cause one to quickly realize that each has a different tone. He first started his poetry in an effort to write about beauty and tranquility, but these themes quickly became transitory; he begins to use his poetry for his views on Irish politics and his feelings about the war. Yeats’ goal is to educate readers on the cultural aspects of Ireland and the political stands he finds important and worth conveying. William Butler Yeats is highly honored as of the greatest poets of the twentieth century. He was born June 13, 1865 in Sandymount, Ireland and died on January 28, 1939 in Cap Martin, France. He was the first child of his father John Butler Yeats, a well-known painter, who later had three more children. While a child his family lived in London for fourteen years, however, he made it incumbent to himself to keep his Irish roots predominant; He shows this in his poems and plays through characters, word choice, and themes.
At the age of nineteen William enrolled in Metropolitan School of Art in Dublin, he was hoping to pursue a career in painting but instead found his love for poetry. Later in his life he moved back to Ireland and married his wife until death, Georgie Hyde-Lees (Authors). In his early years, Yeats wrote his fist poems in love for Sligo, a city in west Ireland. Here he portrays a lot of folklore using a substantial amount of supernatural components and use of heroes. While living in London, with his family, he still wrote strongly of Irish folklore and heroes with supernatural abilities. In 1916 Yeats became part of the nationalist cause, inspired by the Easter Rising. This was an unsuccessful six-day armed rebellion of Irish republicans against the British in Dublin. This later contributed to his flee of England and his return to Ireland. This helped him realize that he needed to finish more of his poems and plays as life is something that should not be taken for granted (Authors).Eighteen eighty-five was an important year for Yeats. He published his first poem, in the Dublin University Review, which sparked his love and passion for poetry and writing plays. During this year he also met John O’Leary, a famous patriot to the country of Ireland. O’Leary was passionate about Irish books, music, and ballads, he was known to urge on young poets to write about Irish culture. Yeats wanted to take in his ideas and apply them to his works. He later published Irish ballads, Irish folklore, and Irish legends due to the influence and friendship with O’Leary (Encyclopedia).In Yeats’ poem “Lake Isle of Innisfree” he shows the peaceful nature he possessed while first starting his career in poetry. He specifically picked a very isolated region in this poem to show the reader, without a doubt, the tone of the poem. For example, Yeats writes,
I will Arise and go now, and go to Innisfree,
And a small cabin built there, of clay and wattles made:
Nine bean-rows I will have there, a hive for the honey-bee,
And live alone in the bee-loud glade (1-6).The speaker, obviously Yeats himself, is talking of a quiet place in which he would like to migrate, in hopes of building a new calm and collective life. According to the poem, it is so calm at Lake Isle that he will be able to hear the bees in the open space of the woods (glade) of where he will live. As a young poet he writes of beautiful places and events that he loves. This was one of his biggest goals when he started, he wanted to bring these surreal places of Ireland into his works and to help educate people on the Irish culture. Yeats has multiple lines where he vividly describes this place in a way that helps one mentally see it. For example, “There midnight’s all a glimmer, and noon a purple/glow,/And evening full of the linnet’s wings/I will arise and go now, for always night and day./I hear lake water lapping with low sounds by the/shore” (7-9). In this excerpt, Yeats describes the sights and sounds around him, he goes into specific detail to really recreate this place mentally for the reader. His word choice of “Glimmer” and “Lapping” are great adjectives that give the poem life and help one relate to the writing. His use of imagery and word choice are truly what makes this piece stand out.
Yeats’ writing in “An Irish Airman Foresees his Death” presents the reader with a short story of an Irishman fighting in the Irish war for independence. In this writing he uses many lines to indirectly talk about his political views of the war. For example, Yeats writes, “The years to come seemed waste of breath,/A waste of breath the years behind” (14-15). “Nor law, nor duty bade me fight,/nor public men, nor cheering crowds,/a lonely impulse of delight/drove to this tumult in the clouds” (9-12). Here, Yeats makes it clear that the war for independence is a waste of “breath” and that the time already spent on the war has been no better. On the other hand, the “waste of breath” could be meant literally and that this war has brought nothing but death and how it should be over. The poet specifically says why he joined the war in the first place. He states that nobody persuaded him to join and that the reason he joined was for an impulse of delight, or rather, for himself. His growth as a poet is very prevalent in this poem. Because of the events happening around him his tone and stories have changed from tranquil to intense. Most of his poems in this time period revolved around the current issues at hand and his efforts in the war. At the beginning of the poem Yeats starts by saying “I know that I shall meet my fate” (1). He also refers to ascending into the clouds two times during the poem by writing, “Somewhere in the clouds above” and “Drove to this tumult in the clouds” (2,7). One could say that he fought in the war as a pilot and took to the skies during a battle. Stating that there is tumult in the clouds he is explaining the chaos and confusion that went on during these dog fights. Although, the reader could say that Yeats meant he was going to heaven by ascending into the clouds.
By starting the poem with a line that explains how he will soon meet his fate it is easy to think that he may be indirectly saying that he will not make it out of the war and his final destination is up into the sky.
Finally, in Yeats’ “Easter 1916” he explains the beginning of the Irish War for Independence and how it started. He specifically talks about how Britain and Ireland ended up in the middle of a war and the opinions of Yeats on the whole ordeal. Yeats pays tribute to revolutionists who lost their lives in the war and how he does not want to leave their names to die with them. For example, he writes, We know their dream; enough to know they dreamed and are dead; and what if excess of love bewildered them till they died?
I write it out now in a verse- MacDonagh and Macbride And Connolly and Pearse (70-77).The speaker, Yeats himself, is speaking of those close to him and also revolutionary to the war who have passed away. Many of the people he states here are poets like himself. The revolutionists dreamed of an independent Ireland and did not live long enough to see their dream come true. Stating that they loved too much and that it led them to be confused and possibly die prematurely shows their patriotism to their home country of Ireland. Yeats continues, “Hearts with one purpose alone through summer and winter seem enchanted to a stone to trouble the living stream” (41-44).
The new goal is enchanted into stone in all the nationalists’ hearts. They now want to focus their efforts on rebelling against the country who earlier held them under its powerful rule. Throughout the poem he repeats the phrase “A terrible beauty is born” (16,40,80). Although Ireland is now going to be fighting for their independence and will soon be free it comes at a cost of life. The beauty is the work towards the common goal, but the terrible portion would be all the death and destruction that war brings.Yeats includes a lot of indirect meanings in his poetry. He likes to “beat around the bush” per say, giving many hints and key words to help the reader depict what he is really trying to say in a particular segment. It is easy to feel the tone of the poem here, you can feel the depressing and grayish mood that is shown. This gives his poetry life in many opinions, Jhan Hochman, a credited scholar who is a freelance writer and currently teaches in Portland, also agrees. One would believe that Yeats’ success is due to his great ability to describe something so well that the reader can see it with their own eyes. But, Hochman touches on the fact that the little use of imagery in “An Irish Airman Foresees his Death” gives it “life” and helps support the real tone. Expressing that the lack of imagery helps give this poem its gloomy feel and helps the reader focus on the poems tone rather than vivid explanation and colorful imagery. In addition, he claims that the speaker of the poem is supposed to be his close friend Robert Gregory instead of Yeat’s himself. He goes on to talk about how the speaker is choosing between whether or not to accept life or death. With these feelings come the abnormal reason for joining the war, usually one joins for his country or people, but not in this case. For example, Hochman writes, “The speaker states that the usual attraction of war did not entice him, and that he chose to become a soldier because of ‘a lonely impulse of delight’” (Napierkowski 76). Toward the end of the poem he touches on the fact that the speaker helps reveal that life and death are both balanced and that selecting one option over the other is essentially choosing both. Yeats’ talks about death and how Gregory will end up dying in the clouds himself.
He is ultimately relating his death to the air, which is usually used to show life and breath but instead suggests clouds and air as a metaphor of heaven. Hochman believes that the poem ends with balancing the “rational and irrational aspects of the poem” (Napierkowski 76). Talking about how the speaker answers the irrational questions in the poem with the rational world he comes from; he also touches on the irrational world of the clouds and how it offers an impulse of delight and death. Most scholars agree that Yeats’ earlier poetry is an example of a calmer and more tranquil tone. Chris Semansky, an instructor of English literature and composition at Portland community college, touches on the fact that in his earlier years Yeats yearned for peace. Escaping reality and almost daydreaming is how it is explained, he is almost imaging a perfect life or what his best-case scenario would be. Many scholars agree with Semansky that this is one of Yeats’ best pieces, the lack of explanation is what makes the reader think, “What is the speakers incentive to go to Innisfree?” since it is never directly stated in the poem. It is very easy for one to relate to his vision is that a common fantasy is to be close with nature and escape the busy lives that we live in. He also indirectly talks about how peace is abundant from morning to nightfall but instead transforms morning into veils from which peace falls and night into a place where the crickets sing. This helps the reader infer that the speaker’s life at home is very chaotic, busy, and stressful.
Most people would not want to move to an island to be completely isolated by themselves, so for Yeats to describe it to be such a quiet and lonely place shows hardships in his current life. It is also said that Yeats was looking for a spiritual retreat and wanted such a quiet place to help search for himself as a person. He is a young poet when he writes this and most likely still looking to identify himself and build a healthy self-image. Towards the end of the poem he ties it back to reality and talks about standing in a street surrounded by pavement. This image gives the tone of gray and silent, which contrasts with the soothing soft image of the water. The speaker, even in the city, can still hear the sounds of nature around him. He wants for this daydream to come true so badly he still subliminally thinks about the perfect image of this perfect place during his busy industrial life.
In conclusion, William Butler Yeats was a very nature involved and a very political poet. He liked to speak his mind, especially on the Irish war for independence, and give his political stance to education people more on a subject. As an early poet he was very calm and wrote poems of beauty and tranquility, as he aged he wrote in contrast with his earlier self. As a poet he published many amazing pieces of work and wrote in his own style and used an interesting variety of word choice to help the reader really see what Yeats was explaining.
Irish Legend in the Stolen Child by William Butler Yeats
The Stolen Child
In 1886, William Butler Yeats constructed the timeless piece called The Stolen Child. This piece is based on an Irish legend about faeries taking children. Yeats wrote this poem during a time when the Celtic Revival was a very important movement for Ireland. In this essay, I will explore the mechanisms the faery uses to coax the child from his home. The faery begins with telling the child of the delicious fruits he could be eating. The faery then tells the child of the simple life he could be leading and adventures he could be having. The child finally takes the faery’s hand and away they go. I argue that, in the luring and taking of the child, Yeats develops the idea that to accept the English is to conform to the comforts of its cultural modernization—to be Irish is to be wild and free.
The faerie starts with describing an island, in the midst of a lake, to the boy. The faery goes on to tell the child what is on the island. One would be a fool to not see it is the Emerald Isle itself. In 1884 the Ireland began forging its national identity. It started with the Gaelic Athletic Association promoting Irish sports. Children are drawn in by sweets and that’s just what the faery uses is fruit. In 1886 the anti-Home-Rule Conservatives came into power. Their policy introduced new and fair laws to Ireland. These laws gave more rights to tenant farmers and helped them become better off financially. If I had been the child I could not have refused the hypothetical fruits either. On three occasions throughout the poem Yeats uses the same four-lined anaphora to have the faery repeatedly ask the child to come away with him:
“Come away, O human child!
To the waters and the wild
With a faery, hand in hand,
For the world’s more full of weeping than you can understand”
(Lines 9-12; 22-25, and 36-39).
Aside from the usage of the anaphora, the following twenty-nine lines produce copious amounts of imagery for the boy. The faery goes on to tell him of the simplicity and freedom that could be had by going away with the faery. The English Liberals regained power despite the threats from the Irish Unionists in 1892. In 1893, a man by the name of William Gladstone introduced the Second House Rule Bill; however this bill never passed due to its defeat by the House of Lords. Yeats goes on to use personification to describe an adventure the faery and child would have together:
“..We seek for slumbering trout
And whispering in their ears
Give them unquiet dreams;
Leaning softly out
From ferns that drop their tears…”
In the above quotation, anthropomorphism is also used. Trout do not have ears or dreams and ferns do not drop tears.
Yeats intelligently uses an extended metaphor to capture the reader with his allegory (lines 40-47) as the child decides to go away with the faery. The allegory goes on the describe Ireland and the cultural melding of its neighbor, England. The Gaelic League was founded by two Nationalist Protestants to promote the Gaelic language. The child wishes to return to Celtic Ireland, the faery is in essence Celtic Ireland. With the use of the last, cleverly placed anaphora (lines 48-51) the poem comes to a beautiful close. Yeats also uses the rhyme scheme called end rhyme throughout the poem. He left only a few lines that did not rhyme, these lines do not interrupt the flow of the poem.
Although Yeats never learned to speak Gaelic, from what I read about him he was a nonconformist to English tradition during the time of the Celtic Revival. The mentioned organizations helped institute the revival and inspired many (Yeats included). His poetry during the Victorian Era drew extensively from Irish mythology and folklore. From what I’ve gathered, he states the following opinion in this poem: Return to the wild Ireland and be free!
Commemoration of the Rebels in William Butler Yeats’s Poem Easter 1916
A Fight till the Death
In “Easter 1916,” by William Butler Yeats, the death of Irish revolutionaries is mourned in a rather unusual way. Instead of specifically focusing on the good impacts that the rebels had on Ireland throughout the poem, Yeats slowly builds upon the actions of the rebels, as if he is convincing himself that the rising was an asset to Irish liberation. In the poem, Yeats commemorates the rebels for fighting for what they believe in through lyrical poetic imagery and finds emotional consolation through the fact that the memories of the rebels will live on through history.
Yeats mourns the death of the rebels who fought for Ireland’s independence from Britain, but not in the way that most elegies, such as In Memorium, do. In the beginning of the poem, Yeats describes how he is not particularly fond of his fellow citizens by only making small talk when a mere nod was not acceptable. As he continues the poem, Yeats goes on to describe the personalities of some of the rebels, without mentioning any names until the fourth stanza.
Names are used as the primary way to identify a person and without even mentioning the names until the second half of the poem Yeats denies the rebels the praise that they deserve. Instead, he criticizes the movement as a whole because it altered the way of living in Ireland and hurt people close to him as well. In the second stanza, Yeats writes about how MacBride was a drunk who ended up hurting someone he used to be close to. Yet, as the poem continues, Yeats puts aside his own feelings because the rebels started a movement and he commemorates them them for their determination and patriotism towards Ireland.
In the third stanza, Yeats uses lyrical nature imagery to compare the hearts of the revolutionaries to a rock. The revolutionaries are stubborn and determined despite all the different obstacles they encounter. Even though the British army was a lot larger and stronger than that of the rebels, they put their life on the line and stood for what they believed in. As everything around them was changing, with regards to WWI, the revolutionaries were in the midst of it. Even though many of the revolutionaries either died in the war or were executed for treason, they initiated a movement that eventually led to “A terrible beauty [to be] born”—a sense of Irish nationalism throughout.
Although some may believe that by “terrible,” Yeats is referring to the violence caused by the war and the “beauty” in it was the freedom that Ireland gained, only half of that is true. By saying that during Easter of 1916, “A terrible beauty is born,” Yeats is drawing a parallel to the joy found in a tragedy, and describing how awe-inspiring the pride and dedication the rebels had toward Ireland was—that they would risk their life for their country. As the phrase is repeated throughout the poem it shows what too much pride can do to people but also how nationalism can cause something beautiful to be born.
Even though the revolt failed in its attempt to break from British rule, it started a movement that eventually led to the freedom of Ireland. This poem describes how normal people contributed to the fight for freedom and praises their courage to fight to their death, even if the odds were not in their favor. By mourning the dead in these ways, Yeats is able to create an elegy that praises the rising of something beautiful instead of writing about something that is dead and gone.
Gerard Manley Hopkins and William Butler Yeats on Challenges to Christianity in the Victorian Era
Challenges and faith to Christianity in the Victorian Era by Gerard Manley Hopkins and William Butler Yeats
During the Victorian age, there were many challenges to the Christian faith and to the Bible itself. These challenges to religion were the following: rationalist thought, science, and higher criticism. People who were rationalists believed in Utilitarianism, which found that religion was just superstition. When it came to science, like biology it introduced concepts like Darwinism. Darwinists thought that the concept of natural selection conflicted with the idea of creation in Genesis. Lastly, people in Germany started to apply the scientific method to the Bible. Even though these challenges were going on during the Victorian Era, there were two Victorian writers named William Butler Yeats and Gerard Manley Hopkins, who promoted their faith, biblical truths and moral values in their literature.
Gerard Hopkins, a poet from the mid-nineteenth century, was a priest who wrote a few poems that celebrated God in nature or it explored the trails of faith. In “God’s Grandeur,” the narrator says that “The world is charged with the grandeur of God” (1), indicating that the world is full of God’s energy and beauty. However, this beautiful world will “flame out” (2) because it is temporary. The speaker goes on to say even if this world is temporary; people should not destroy God’s work, and they should fear him. Over time people has separated themselves from God by being so involved in industrialization because “all is seared with trade; bleared, smeared with toil” (6). The speaker then goes to say that even though people are distant from God and are disconnected from nature, that God ultimately still loves everyone and watches over the whole world.
This speaker can be compared to the speaker in another of Hopkins poems “Hurrahing in Harvest.” The speaker once again observes nature; he comments on the how “silky-sack” (3) the clouds are as they move across the sky. The speaker then “lift up his heart and eyes” to the sky and praises how God is in the heavens. The speaker compares how seeing God in the heavens is like a “Rapturous love’s greeting” (8) and “Majestic as a stallion stalwart” (10). In the end, God’s nature is so beautiful to the speaker because he sees God in all of nature.
William Butler Yeats is another Victorian writer who promoted his faith in his poems. In his poem, “The Second Coming”, not only does Yeats incorporate religion but adds what was going on during that period. He talks about how “mere anarchy is loosed upon the world”, he may have been talking about how many heads of the state were assassinated by Anarchists. For example, the Tsar Alexander the second of Russia and President Sadi Carnot of France were murdered by Anarchists. Not only that but World War 1 was happening during his lifetime, therefore, “things fall apart; the centre cannot hold” (3). It is almost like the four horsemen have been released into the world because even “the ceremony of innocence” or baptism cannot help anyone. The rest of the poem suggests that history recycles and that before the second coming of Christ there will be destruction, destruction is coming because of World War 1. The speaker also states that a “rough beast” (21) will be born in Bethlehem like Christ. Therefore, the beast could be the Anti-Christ. The Anti-Christ will bring a lot of turmoil in the world before Christ returns to take his throne on the earth.
Another poem of Yeats is “The Lake Isle of Innisfree.” In this poem, the speaker talks about how he wants to go away to an island called Innisfree. He wants to get away from the city because he longs nature. He remembers the “small cabin builds there, of clay and wattles made (2) and “a hive for the honey bee” (3). His memory tricks him into hearing the “lake water lapping” (10). The island of Innisfree sounds like a garden of Eden where the speaker can get away to be with God.
What these authors reveal is that even if the world is corrupted that one can find religion in everything. Both Hopkins and Yeats’s works gave people peace and hope in times of turmoil just like religion. So while these writers teach us that religion is an important factor in society, they also teach us that even if things get rough religion will always be around no matter if someone does not believe in it.
Three Separate Phases of W.b. Yeats’ Body of Work
The work of Irish born and British educated W. B. Yeats may likely be studied through a lens of panoramic social issues erupting around him throughout his early 20th century world. The poetry of Yeats found vast popularity during his lifetime and has thus afforded scholars the luxury of categorizing his creative efforts into a sequence of three phases. The specific features of form aspect he adopted over the course of his career appears to have been influenced by world wars, Irish anxieties and numerous cultural shifts that were occurring around his world simultaneously. In fact, he was not even averse to doing rewrites later in time as events came to their eventual conclusions.
W.B. Yeats’ body of work evolved over time into 3 separate phases. An Irishmen by birth, Yeats in phase 1 embraces the British superiority that surrounds him via influential teachers provided him by his parents when moving to London, England at a young age. During this phase, he appears to be oblivious to the rowdy raucousness of the Irish in their impoverished slums of London in exchange for a view of himself as a worldly sophisticated Englishmen. The success of his poetry career with London publishers up to 1916 indicates a probable end of his phase 1 creations and begins a shift into Irish sympathies leading to a phase 2 career path that has its origins with events erupting in his country of birth, Ireland. In 1916, the Irish Easter revolution against British tyranny resulted in the execution of several Irish acquaintances of his that prevented their radical efforts to free Ireland from British oppression.
Yeats’ abrupt reversal to Irish sympathies in his Easter 1916 poem also signals the beginnings of a more aggressive awareness of social justice improprieties throughout the world. Evidence of further evolution can be seen by his release of Sailing to Byzantium published 11 years later. These two transitional examples of evolution in his writing suggests that he has clearly left his phase 1 career behind and is fully engaged in the publishing of poetry that leads to a judgment that movement into phases 2 and 3 is underway. This evolution seems to coincide with personality struggles within himself when his behavior seems to be more British-like than Irish during phase 1 and then he flips into behaving more Irish than British during phases 2 and 3. This appears to be a direct result of changes within his personal view of political and social injustice occurring inside Ireland. The shock like cultural transitions going on around him is why Easter 1916 and Sailing to Byzantium are the two poems that were selected for this essay. They may offer intellectual proof of why phase evolution is such an interesting concept.
The first poem refers to his passionate horror over what has come about in Ireland at the hands of his beloved England. The police state crackdown by his adopted England against his orphaned Irish warriors, who attempted to break free from the yoke of the England monarchy after centuries of rule, seems tailor made for the talented poet. The irony of the timing of this incident in the early 1900’s simultaneously occurs as Yeats is just coming into the prime of his life and doing his best work. These events appeared to anger him greatly due to a lack of satisfaction in the state of Ireland’s affairs as a conquered country. Yeats, though a resident of London, England, seemed to be aghast at the brutality of English efforts to break the will of the Irish revolutionaries. He fights a sympathetic battle for Irish rights in the Easter 1916 poem by using the best weapon available to him which was his ability to cut at the English Crown’s hypocrisy by utilizing the straight-ahead meter and rhyme scheme known as tetrameter. He shows an adaptation from ABAB tetrameter in lines 5, 6, and 15 whereby he goes to a trimester scheme for meter and rhyme.
At a time when many Irish had already fled England for the urban cities of America such as New York and Boston and amid a decade of reports of undisciplined drunken brawls and wild and hopeless behavior by his Irish brethren in America; he appears to have found his Irish heritage again in this poem. Easter 1916 was published following the execution of his Irish friends and these brutal sentences administered to them by the British authorities are revealed in lines 17, 24 and 26. Both poems illustrate the use of narration and symbolism by Yeats as demonstrated using the pronoun “I” in both poems. It is an example of first-person internal narration with the narrator being of minor importance to the story’s point of view. In line 25 of Easter 1916, he utilizes symbolism with the use of “winged horse” as a reference to Pegasus which paints one of the men executed as an inspirational mentor to his students.
In line 19 of Sailing to Byzantium he utilizes additional symbolism with the “perne in a gyre” and is referring to the whirlwind chaos of the times. The second poem uses Byzantium as a synonym for Ireland which is symbolism for what Ireland could be in a dream world of peace and stability instead of the more realistic environment involving decay and death. Byzantium is an ancient reference to the holy city of Eastern Christendom known currently as Istanbul, Turkey. In lines 9 and 10 a description of an old man wasting away is given as old clothes (“tattered coat”) hanging upon a stick which is symbolism again. The second poem, which was written in 1927, features a more dreamy and lyrical style as compared to the less romantic features inherent in his Easter 1916 poem. It starts out like it will be the glory of youth but quickly turns into an aging old man with death around the nearest corner. This is suggestive to a classification into a beginning for entry into the phase 3 and final evolution of his career.
Whereas Easter 1916 utilizes a repeating refrain in lines 16, 40 and 80 with the phrase “a terrible beauty is born”, this differentiates in form from the poem published in 1927 whereby this specific aspect is absent. The second poem more closely resembles his own view of himself as the self-described “last romantic,” which plays upon the deaths of his literary mentors and heroes, Shelly and Blake. These legendary poets passed away some 25 years before his birth in 1865. It is possible that the phase 3 of his career, as illustrated by Sailing to Byzantium, was influenced by the Celtic Revival period when all things Irish were being rejuvenated into a more positive image. However, as the poem goes on further his audience learns that the more realistic situation of the Irish as a people is much less advantageous than the idyllic journey he originally starts them out on. Although first phase examples of Yeats’ earliest published poems as a young man are not covered within the prompt requirements of this essay, the scholarly trend appears to accept that some form of a phase 1 existed early in his career.
The two poems examined here do appear to clearly represent the phase 2 mid-career and phase 3 late-career evolution of W.B. Yeats. This conclusion is reached by the differences in form and content pointed to in this essay between these two poems that were published so many years apart from each other. Easter 1916 was Yeats as he was inherently linked emotionally to the sweeping events shaping Irish nationalism in 1916 and Sailing to Byzantium was Yeats in a distinctively different mood as he dreams of an imaginary independent Ireland that no longer exists. Clearly, this long lived and much celebrated poet of Irish origin, yet British molding had many unique and important reasons to evolve in his literary career over time. And time seems to have created three distinct phases to his body of work.