Sailing to Byzantium, comparing the intelligence of a person to physical advantages of body.

Essay by kelleeincali03High School, 11th gradeA+, May 2003

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Emphasis on intelligence

Playing card games, reading novels, and keeping updated with current affairs are all actions my Great Grandmother of 96 years, does to keep her intellectual being in tact. Physically her body is old, but mentally, she is a very intelligent and prudent lady. This common trend with old people is seen in the poem, "Sailing to Byzantium", written by William Butler Yeats. Just like my grandmother, Yeats does not consider the body very essential but feels that the mind is the center of ones being and often wishes he might be free of his burdensome body.

Throughout the poem, Yeats utilizes many poetic devices to write quite constructively. The name, "Sailing to Byzantium", and rhythm, were premeditated to bestow a soothing yet lamenting tone of what the poem will relate to. One can only come to the conclusion that Yeats is the speaker because there is no reason to believe other wise, and the poem sounds personal.

Byzantium is referring to the center of European Civilization and the source of spiritual philosophy, thus symbolizing Yeat's "search for a spiritual life by a journey to that city." This poem is written in Iambic pentameter, containing four stanzas each comprised with eight lines. The rhyme scheme is ab, ab, ab, cc, which is designed to keep things flowing. Eye rhyme is contained in this poem creating rhyming words like young, song, long as used in the first stanza. Alliteration is used in this quotation to emphasize life using the "F" sound, "Fish, flesh, or fowl, comment all summer long"(Yeats 5).

In the first stanza, a nostalgic tone is seen as Yeats highlights the fact that every living creature has his own time to pass on. For example, the circle of life motif is evident in this...