. The poet wants to take a form that is of golden shape and has golden enameling. After all, this is a poem. Modernists often rebelled against tradition and celebrated self-discovery, which this poem absolutely does. Rather than examining his own tattered body, he compares death to the passing of the seasons. Symbols and metaphors not add poignancy to the images but also add richness to the texture of the poem. To not mention this important aspect of the poem is to meet its deeper resonances and meaning.
In this poem, the narrator, probably the poet himself, reviews his own sentiments, those of an old man separated from death by only a few years. Summary of Stanza I That Ireland is not the right place for old men because all are caught in a sensual music which makes them neglect the ageless artistic achievements of the intellect. Though Yeats never learned Gaelic himself, his writing at the turn of the century drew extensively from sources in Irish mythology and folklore. The poem is rich in metaphor and symbols. While the speaker does take an actual journey to Byzantium, the reader can interpret this journey as a metaphorical one, perhaps representing the journey of the artist. Caught in that sensual music all neglect Monuments of unageing intellect.
Starting with the first and second sentences in stanza one. The poet says that once he gets purified, he will become the gold bird. One should note that the poem is not autobiographical as the poet did not visit the city of Byzantium. Byzantium itself symbolized eternity to Yeats; it was an ancient city that represented a place of artistic and intellectual permanence. The newly learnt song of the soul makes it to rejoice and become louder and louder as the physical powers of the old men go bad to worse.
The bobbin also signifies the mummy around which the tape is wound. The poem is about renouncing the hold of the world upon us, and attaining something higher than the physical or sensual. We then get an image that is similar to the one offered by Thomas Hardy, who — fast approaching his sixtieth birthday — , about viewing his wizened old features in the mirror and regretting that his heart still beats with the desires and passions of a young man. The poet says that the only difficulty is to find such a singing school where the soul can get educated, because every singing school in the country of Ireland is concerned with studying monuments of its own significance rather than caring for monuments of unageing intellect. Yeats writes: —Those dying generations—at their song, The salmon-falls, the mackerel-crowded seas, Fish, flesh, or fowl, commend all summer long… Here, the speaker bitterly tells that all of these creatures will one day grow old, as well. For more discussion of poetry, see our , our , and our. Yeats seems to be commenting here, however, that just because one is old, it does not mean he has an old soul, for the soul of the old man is clapping and singing loudly.
Consume my heart away; sick with desire And fastened to a dying animal It knows not what it is; and gather me Into the artifice of eternity. He asks them to move in a gyre and take him away to death. When you are old and grey and full of sleep, And nodding by the fire, take down this book, And slowly read, and dream of the soft look Your eyes had once, and of their shadows deep; How many loved your moments of glad grace, And loved your beauty with love false or true, But one man loved the pilgrim soul in. The sea in the poem is at one symbolic of the natural world from which the speaker migrates to Byzantium. Also visit our website : www. The image of the bobbin suggests how the Lord is about to summon the sprits that are about to be freed from the shells of life and wound into the bobbin of reincarnation.
To escape death and old age the man sails to Byzantium. Marbles of the dancing floor Break bitter furies of complexity, Those images that yet Fresh images beget, That dolphin-torn, that gong-tormented sea. He wants these sages to be the leader of his souls and to guide him for purification. After the climactic poem of the collection, Yeats returns to a more somber tone. He laments over the lack of education given to soul. Then he says he would be like the golden bird to awake the king or he would sit in the golden bough to sing the stories of past, present and future to the people who would come to the holy city of Byzantium.
Any line reproduced from the article has to be appropriately documented by the reader. Yeats Macmillan, 1933 The Poetical Works of William B. In this case the old man in the poem is yearning to be young and live on forever even when his time is up. Though she married another man in 1903 and grew apart from Yeats and Yeats himself was eventually married to another woman, Georgie Hyde Lees , she remained a powerful figure in his poetry. Yeats and their fixation on death and aging, it should also be noted that many of the poems by Yeats induce an image of an aged man as such a scarecrow or as a man in tatters with little left of any substance. The first thing that the poet wants the sages to do is to purify his heart which is heavy with animal instincts and is sick with physical lusts. The place he has chosen is Byzantium which has subsequently been known as Constantinople, Nova Roma and currently Istanbul , because of its rich history and monuments linked to the past.
Also a potent influence on his poetry was the Irish revolutionary Maud Gonne, whom he met in 1889, a woman equally famous for her passionate nationalist politics and her beauty. It sounds so appealing, in fact, that he sails there. Yeats additionally employs other figures of speech such as symbols and allusions to further illustrate his main theme. The idea of elders waiting upon God is not familiar from any Western religion, but would be acceptable under theosophy, which holds that all spiritualities hold some measure of truth. When Irishmen were illuminating the Book of Kells, and making the jeweled croziers in the National Museum, Byzantium was the center of European civilization and the source of its spiritual philosophy, so I symbolize the search for the spiritual life by a journey to that city. The second stanza is more of the same. Selected Bibliography The Collected Poems of W.