The Song of Wandering Aengus

Essay by crystalng99High School, 10th gradeA, October 2014

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Crystal Ng

Ms. Barclay


16 May 2014

The Constant Pursuit for Love

In The Song of Wandering Aengus, Yeats compares his own unrequited love for Maud Gonne to the Celtic myth of the love god Aengus who searched for years to find the girl he had fallen in love with in his dreams. The poem establishes the theme of the life long search to quench unsatisfied love.

The speaker expresses his strong need to find love. The speaker uses a metaphor in the line "Because a fire was in my head" to compare fire to the burning passion he possesses to love. The "fire" in his head has clouded his judgement and vision which is why the speaker needs to find love in nature to satisfy his desire. The speaker goes out to the "hazel wood" and "peels a hazel wand". Hazel trees are known to induce visions, and when the speaker creates the tool out of hazel that would bring him love, this suggests the speaker will encounter magical visions.

The berry symbolizes how the speaker opens his heart for any love that comes along, establishing his obsession for love. He catches a "silver trout", a metaphor for an unattractive person who still contains the ability to love. The speaker has fallen in love with being in love and ventures through his life to search for love.

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The speaker exhibits persistence and establishes that it is necessary to overcome obstacles to find the happy and magical concept that is love. The speaker uses light diction including "flickering", "glimmering", and "brightening" to create a dreamy mood for the reader

establishing love as a magical awesome thing. The speaker's tone is contemplative as he reminisces about the event that spurred his quest to find love. He is...