William Butler Yeats Transgression of poems William Butler Yeats (1865-1939) was a twelfth century poet of great knowledge and influence. He managed throughout all sorts of techniques and subjects found a way to express and enlighten his readers. Most of his writings were used to show his feelings and or emotions towards subjects. He used his own life experiences and personal thoughts to create his poetry. It is easy to follow the life of this great poet by analyzation of his poems. In two of his works I Dreamed of Death and In Tara's Halls, one is able to follow the transgressional path of this mans evolving life and works.
W.B. Yeats earlier work from the 1910-1920's was molded by the poems he studied. He often created his work from the poems and ideas of William Blake and Emanuel Swedenborg. It took a while for him to determine his own style and theme but soon enough he began write with a new directness and disillusionment.
He focused mainly on romantic, mysterious poetry often times shadowing on his Irish heritage. A central theme in Yeats' poems seems to be Ireland. As a home, its history, folklore and contemporary public life Yeats always finds Ireland as a topic for his poems. Another central theme constantly viewed in Yeats work is the idea of life opposing death. In his poem I dreamed of Death, the reader is able to view Yeats' thoughts and background on Yeats view of spiritual death.
I DREAMED that one had died in a strange place Near no accustomed hand, And they had nailed the boards above her face, The peasants of that land, Wondering to lay her in that solitude, And raised above her mound A cross they had made out of two bits of wood, And planted cypress round; And left her to the indifferent stars above Until I carved these words: She was more beautiful than thy first love, But now lies under boards.
With a conventional meter and rhyme scheme, W.B. manages to simply create a sense with his story of this woman. The image he creates is ironically biblical giving reference to death by the idea nailing boards. Though it seems as if he writes this to her out of an unspoken love and comparison to the one he first loved. He says she lies near no "accustomed hand"ÃÂ, leaving question if its no hand familiar to him, or to her. She is found dead alone and ironically is left in solitude. Although her beauty prevails yet she left to the unsympathetic stars. He speaks like no one cares until he "carves"ÃÂ his words in telling us the story.
In W.B. Yeats' late years he used forms of art. These forms of art had nothing to do with nature like most art forms do. They mostly had to do with politics and the modern world. In his 1939 poem In Tara's Halls he expresses great feeling towards death and what life is.
A MAN I praise that once in Tara's Halls Said to the woman on his knees, "Lie still.
My hundredth year is at an end. I think That something is about to happen, I think That the adventure of old age begins.
To many women I have said, ""Lie still,'' And given everything a woman needs, A roof, good clothes, passion, love perhaps, But never asked for love; should I ask that, I shall be old indeed.' Thereon the man Went to the Sacred House and stood between The golden plough and harrow and spoke aloud That all attendants and the casual crowd might hear.
"God I have loved, but should I ask return Of God or woman, the time were come to die.' He bade, his hundred and first year at end, Diggers and carpenters make grave and coffin; Saw that the grave was deep, the coffin sound, Summoned the generations of his house, Lay in the coffin, stopped his breath and died.
In this poem of Yeats late years he writes seemingly about himself. This poem shows a man telling a woman that his time of death and that he has given to her that he could, yet asked for nothing back. This poem is one of refection and longing rather than a simple sporty. This man seems frightened at the idea of asking for love and hides from this fear up until his death.
In both of the poems the reader is able to see Yeats describes feelings and though them tells a story. Like any poet he uses different styles and structures. Though time Yeats seems to focus on new elements in his poems. He though time changes his way of writing so that it seems to come from a new angle and uses new themes. For example in the poem I dreamed of Death he uses simple rhyme and seems to use simple language. In the poem In Tara's halls he seems to use more complexity in his structure of phrasing.
Yeats' goal is always to arrive at personal truth; and in that sense, despite his profound individuality, he remains one of the most universal writers ever to have lived. In both his poems used here, one can see the transformation of a writer though his life; there are underlying similarities, yet they differ in approach. Yeats though all of his writing transformedalined with his life.