W.B. Yeats. 5A: English. M1: The Great Gatsby M5: The Great Gatsby T3:Poetry T8: Poetry W8: The Great Gatsby F1: Composition/ Essay Writing **** All class topics are subject to change **** All classes will be held in Room 6. Miss Smith: 5A English. Rules
M1: The Great Gatsby
M5: The Great Gatsby
W8: The Great Gatsby
F1: Composition/ Essay Writing
**** All class topics are subject to change
**** All classes will be held in Room 6
Jackets Off, Books and Materials Out
Listen to directions
Be respectful of your teacher and fellow students
Raise your hand to speak
Discipline Sheet/ Asked to stand
Note in Journal (to be signed)
Discipline sheet/Referred to Year Head
ALWAYS be prepared for class. Have all books, materials and homework out and ready for inspection.
Yeats met Maud Gonne in 1888, an Irish nationalist who considerably influenced both his personal and his literary works. He proposed marriage to her several times.
Following Ireland becoming a free state in 1922, Yeat’s took an interest in politics. He became a member of the Irish senate and backed unpopular causes i.e. divorce
There is a constant renewal, experimentation and utter dedication to his craft- poetry.
Phase 1: Irish Literary Heritage: this phase was based on Yeat’s interest in Irish history and Folklore. He was active in promoting the idea of distinctly Irish literature.
Deep human impulse, escape from sordid realities of city life to a Pastoral Utopia
Attractions of the ideal Inisfree are heightened by the contrasting drabness of London’s “pavements grey”
Simple Imagery= Quiet LifeTHE LAKE ISLE OF INNISFREE
This is part of his Irish Literary heritage stage: Romantic phase of his early career Quest for beauty and nature in life
The poet declares that he will arise and go to Innisfree, where he will build a small cabin “of clay and wattles made.” There, he will have nine bean-rows and a beehive, and live alone in the glade loud with the sound of bees (“the bee-loud glade”). He says that he will have peace there, for peace drops from “the veils of morning to where the cricket sings.” Midnight there is a glimmer, and noon is a purple glow, and evening is full of linnet’s wings.
Form: This poem is composed by three stanzas, each of the three stanzas has the same ABAB rhyme scheme. The three first verses of each stanza are written in hexameter, with six stresses in each line; the last line of each stanzas shortens the line to tetrameter, with only four stresses. “And live alone in the bee-loud glade.” Each of the three stanzas has the same ABAB rhyme scheme.
Hexameter: A line of verse consisting of six metrical feet/stresses.
The lake and its occupants = life and growth. The land – where Yeats stands= is barren.
Repetition of 'm', 's'
and 'l' -sense of peace and quiet
The trees are in their autumn beauty,
The woodland paths aredry,
Under the October twilight the water
Mirrors a still sky;
Upon the brimming water among the stones
Are nine and fifty swans.
The nineteenth Autumn has come upon me
Since I first made my count;
I saw, before I had well finished,
All suddenly mount
And scatter wheeling in great broken rings
Upon their clamorous wings.
I have looked upon those brilliant creatures,
And now my heart is sore.
All’s changed since I, hearing at twilight,
The first time on this shore,
The bell-beat of their wings above my head,
Trod with a lighter tread.
There are ‘nine-and-fifty’ - Swans mate for life, so why is there an odd number?
Run-on lines= movement and swans' flight. ‘Clamorous’ onomatopoeia= clapping and beating of the swans' wings
a symbol of eternity –reminds Yeats that while he might change, the
swans remain the same, and even make the same patterns in the sky every year.The Wild Swans at Coole
Alliteration; Steady beat of the birds wings
hearts have not grown old’.
Unwearied still, lover by lover,
They paddle in the cold,
Companionable streams or climb the air;
Their hearts have not grown old;
Passion or conquest, wander where they will,
Attend upon them still.
But now they drift on the still water
Among what rushes will they build,
By what lake’s edge or pool
Delight men’s eyes, when I awake some day
To find they have flown away?
The swans can swim in the ‘brimming’ water and fly in the air, but Yeats is
limited to the dry woodland paths.
Yeats may be thinking of his creative
life or his love life, or both, when he reflects on the changes that time has wrought. The
swans are unchanging, content, almost immortal. He is none of these things.The Wild Swans at Coole
Yeats wrote this poem in 1916, when he was fifty one years of age. Coole Park, in Co. Galway was the home of Lady Augusta Gregory, Yeats' friend and patron.
Written as part of his third phase of writing- the complex personal mythology stage. The poem was composed when Yeat’s was 52. He was concerned about the exhaustive effect of age on his imaginative powers.
The subject of this poem is Robert Gregory, son of Lady Gregory, Yeats’ patron. Gregory volunteered to fight in the First World War as a fighter pilot in the British Air Force.
The speaker is Major Robert Gregory. He is presented as the perfect man of Yeats’ imagination. Gregory is a perfectly well balanced man.
I know that I shall meet my fate
Somewhere among the clouds above;
Those that I fight I do not hate
Those that I guard I do not love;
My country is KiltartanCross,
My countrymen Kiltartan’s poor,
No likely end could bring them loss
Or leave them happier than before.
Nor law, nor duty bade me fight,
Nor public man, nor cheering crowds,
A lonely impulse of delight
Drove to this tumult in the clouds;
I balanced all, brought all to mind,
The years to come seemed waste of breath,
A waste of breath the years behind
In balance with this life, this death.
He balances the future prospects of his poor countrymen against the outcome of the war- they will neither lose nor gain.
Gregory becomes the kind of man Yeats most admired: one who can combine passion and detachment, joy and lonelinessAn Irish Airman foresees his Death
Rhyme The poem follows a clear rhyming pattern: ababcdcdefefghgh
“A little greasy huxtering groping for halfpence in a greasy till”.
William Martin MurphyDublin Lock-out and the Irish Transport and General Workers' Union (ITGWU).
“you”- mockingly and ironically addresses the nationalist merchant class characterized by the qualities of religious devotion and attachment to money.
O’Leary – a nobler vision of Ireland; had a vital influence on Irish cultural nationalism. Belongs to a vanished age.
“They” contrast with the above “you”. “They are the patriots of the heroic past.September 1913
Contrast sharply with the preoccupations of the “you” referred to in stanza 1.
“this” refers to contemporary Ireland with all its imperfections. The “wild geese” refers to Irish soldiers served in armies in Europe.
Fitzgerald, Emmetand Wolf, like Yeats were Anglo-Irish. Was there sacrifice worthwhile?
“delirium”- emotional and instinctive (gave lives for a dream). Unlike the rational calculating merchants.
Ironic tone persist- heroic dead return to confront unheroic living.September 1913
Seal of mocking irony- merchant thinks past heroes are best forgotten since they are dead like O’Leary.
Written during Yeats’ revolutionary period. The speaker is angry and is addressing people he dislikes.
The subject of this poem is the Easter Rising. On the 24th April 1916, a small group of Irish republicans occupied buildings in the centreof Dublin and their leaders proclaimed an Irish republic.
Yeats was with Maud Gonne in France when he heard the news. He was at first shocked and believed that what the patriots had died for might be conceded peacefully by the British.
The central antithesis (balancing of two opposing ideas) is between the speaker’s attitude to the people who were secretly planning the 1916 Rising and his attitude to the same people after they had displayed an unexpected heroism and become nationalist martyrs.Easter 1916
Yeats refers to “them” as the people who were secretly planning a rising. Repetition of “meaningless words” suggests Yeats did not take what they said seriously. He admits he even thought of mocking them at his gentlemen's club. He believed these men, posing as revolutionaries, wearing multi-coloured dress as a clown or fool would wear (motley), had no real intention of carrying it out.
I have met them at close of day
Coming with vivid faces
From counter or desk among grey
I have passed with a nod of the head
Or polite meaningless words,
Or have lingered awhile and said
Polite meaningless words,
And thought before I had done
Of a mocking tale or a gibe
To please a companion
Around the fire at the club,
Being certain that they and I
But lived where motley is worn:
All changed, changed utterly:
A terrible beauty is born.
“A terrible beauty is born”- not a single minded celebration of what has been done. This suggests beauty has been achieved at the expense of life.Easter 1916
Yeats refers here to the revolutionary men and women he undervalued. The first mentioned is Countess Makiewicz, based on antithesis. Yeats contrasts her younger days as a lady of leisure with her later ones as a fanatical nationalist. He voice becoming shrill over time thus becoming a less attractive person from her earlier self.
That woman's days were spent
In ignorant good-will,
Her nights in argument
Until her voice grew shrill.
What voice more sweet than hers
When, young and beautiful,
She rode to harriers?
This man had kept a school
And rode our wingèd horse;
This other his helper and friend
Was coming into his force;
He might have won fame in the end,
So sensitive his nature seemed,
So daring and sweet his thought.
This other man I had dreamed
A drunken, vainglorious lout.
He had done most bitter wrong
To some who are near my heart,
Yet I number him in the song;
He, too, has resigned his part
In the casual comedy;
He, too, has been changed in his turn,
A terrible beauty is born.
Patrick Pearse and Thomas McDonagh- both teachers and poets. The speaker believes that McDonagh had a talented imagination that could have brought him fame.
The fourth figure mentioned- John Mc Bride, Maud Gonne’s husband is described as a drunken boastful lout who had wronged people whom Yeats loves.Easter 1916
All four figures as seen as characters of drama, before 1916 they were acting out trivial parts in a play. No longer half hearted- they become noble, tragic participants, terrible and violent but beautiful in their self- sacrifice.
Notion of change now gives way to its opposite: the unchanging reality of patriotic devotion. The patriots mentioned have given themselves exclusively to the cause of Irish freedom. Its price: they become stone hearted and devoid of everyday human emotion- “enchanted” “stone”.
Hearts with one purpose alone
Through summer and winter seem
Enchanted to a stone
To trouble the living stream.
The horse that comes from the road,
The rider, the birds that range
From cloud to tumbling cloud,
Minute by minute they change;
A shadow of cloud on the stream
Changes minute by minute;
A horse-hoof slides on the brim,
And a horse plashes within it;
The long-legged moor-hens dive,
And hens to moor-cocks call;
Minute by minute they live:
The stone's in the midst of all.
The stone is a dead thing in the midst of living things all around it.
Powerful image of the stone unmoving in the midst of the flowing stream. Pearse and his followers have turned their backs on life in their fanatical concentration on a single cause. Dominant contrast between the changing face of nature and the obsessive resistance to change that characterizes the patriots- “the stone in the midst of all”.Easter 1916
“too long a sacrifice….heart”- heroic dreams of the patriots have deprived themselves of life.
Too long a sacrifice
Can make a stone of the heart.
O when may it suffice?
That is Heaven's part, our part
To murmur name upon name,
As a mother names her child
When sleep at last has come
On limbs that had run wild.
What is it but nightfall?
No, no, not night but death;
Was it needless death after all?
For England may keep faith
For all that is done and said.
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 in a verse—
MacDonagh and MacBride
And Connolly and Pearse
Now and in time to be,
Wherever green is worn,
Are changed, changed utterly:
A terrible beauty is born.
Here Yeats asks the question- have these patriots wasted their lives for a cause that may have been granted in any case? Yeats believed that England would eventually give Ireland a measure of freedom.
Yeats’ speaker retains an impersonal attitude and refuses to pass judgment on the prudence or otherwise of what they rebels have done, preferring to leave this to the deeper wisdom of providence.Easter 1916
In the first two stanzas the idea of change is dominant. The change is also one affecting the speaker- his perception of those who participated in the rising. Yeats must even revise his opinion of MacBride whose sacrifice of his life in the cause of the Republic is evidence of his commitment and genuine patriotism.Easter 1916
"Sailing to Byzantium" written when Yeats was 63 as part of his Complex Personal Mythology phase of his life but it is reminiscent of his earlier work The Lake Isle of Innisfreeas it depicts another version of a happy future.
Imagery: full and abundant natural life. The ears of an old man may feel out of place in a world with such vitality and energy.
That is no country for old men. The youngIn one another's arms, birds in the trees- Those dying generations - at their song,The salmon-falls, the mackerel-crowded seas,Fish, flesh, or fowl, commend all summer longWhatever is begotten, born, and dies.Caught in that sensual music all neglectMonuments of unageing intellect.An aged man is but a paltry thing,A tattered coat upon a stick, unlessSoul clap its hands and sing, and louder singFor every tatter in its mortal dress,Nor is there singing school but studyingMonuments of its own magnificence;And therefore I have sailed the seas and comeTo the holy city of Byzantium.
Creatures: Birds, Fish- doomed to death and decay. Real birds song contrast to final stanza with artificial bird of Byzantium.
If Yeats became a “monument” he would be timeless.
Images of the ageing body, old man as a scarecrow.
Believes the soul can rise above the mortal distressed- it must not listen to the “sensual music”. Break free from your mortal limitations and study the timeless “monuments”. Speaker undertakes inner voyage to Byzantium- where human limitations do not exist.Sailing to Byzantium
“Sailing”- symbol of voyage. In this poem, a country of the mind situated in the ideal past
Sages who are also martyrs: believes sages will heal speakers sufferings and agonies. They will instruct him in their kind of perfection, he will absorb this and have an eternity of beauty. He wants them to take away from this word and make him immune from decay.
O sages standing in God's holy fireAs in the gold mosaic of a wall,Come from the holy fire, perne in a gyre,And be the singing-masters of my soul.Consume my heart away; sick with desireAnd fastened to a dying animalIt knows not what it is; and gather meInto the artifice of eternity.Once out of nature I shall never takeMy bodily form from any natural thing,But such a form as Grecian goldsmiths makeOf hammered gold and gold enamellingTo keep a drowsy Emperor awake;Or set upon a golden bough to singTo lords and ladies of ByzantiumOf what is past, or passing, or to come.
Speaker removes himself from mortal nature, takes on a different shape to ensure him eternity of freedom in Byzantium. The speakers becomes a golden bird- an ageless, incorruptible thing- antithesis of the “dying animal”Sailing to Byzantium
Monuments of unageing intellect: symbols of the life of the spirit, of contemplation, of art.
Ottavarima traditionally contains the following rhyme scheme: ABABABCC. However, Yeats starts out with rhymes that seem to be following the traditional scheme, but then he introduces these strange, dissonant half-rhymes instead of full rhymes.