Saturday, June 21, 2008

Reading Yeats

I've been reading some scattered poems of W.B. Yeats this weekend, and I've sensed repeated motifs of birth ("The Second Coming," "The Mother of God"), rebirth ("Sailing to Byzantium"), and movement or travel ("Sailing to Byzantium," "The Lake Isle of Innisfree"). It's not surprising, then, that with such a motif of change and renewal, several of the poems I've read end with questions ("The Second Coming," "The Mother of God," "The Wild Swans at Coole"). The poet seems to sense a transformation, but of course cannot know precisely what that transformation will be.

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