'John Kinsella's Lament For Mrs. Mary Moore' by William Butler Yeats
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Last Poems1938-1939IA bloody and a sudden end,Gunshot or a noose,
For Death who takes what man would keep,Leaves what man would lose.
He might have had my sister,My cousins by the score,
But nothing satisfied the foolBut my dear Mary Moore,
None other knows what pleasures manAt table or in bed.
What shall I do for pretty girlsNow my old bawd is dead?IIThough stiff to strike a bargain,Like an old Jew man,
Her bargain struck we laughed and talkedAnd emptied many a can;
And O! but she had stories,Though not for the priest's ear,
To keep the soul of man alive,Banish age and care,
And being old she put a skinOn everything she said.
What shall I do for pretty girlsNow my old bawd is dead?IIIThe priests have got a book that saysBut for Adam's sin
Eden's Garden would be thereAnd I there within.
No expectation fails there,No pleasing habit ends,
No man grows old, no girl grows coldBut friends walk by friends.
Who quarrels over halfpenniesThat plucks the trees for bread?
What shall I do for pretty girlsNow my old bawd is dead?
Editor 1 Interpretation
A Masterpiece of Poetry: Interpreting Yeats' Lament for Mrs. Mary Moore
Are you a fan of poetry? Have you ever read something that made you pause, that made you feel like you were in the presence of greatness? William Butler Yeats' Lament for Mrs. Mary Moore is one such poem. It is a masterpiece of poetry, a testament to Yeats' genius as a poet, and a tribute to his dear friend, Mary Moore.
In this literary criticism and interpretation, we will delve deep into the poem, examining its structure, themes, and symbolism. We will explore the context in which the poem was written, and the relationship between Yeats and Mrs. Moore. By the end of this analysis, you will have a greater understanding and appreciation for this incredible work of art.
Background and Context
To fully appreciate Lament for Mrs. Mary Moore, it is important to understand the context in which it was written. Yeats and Mrs. Moore were close friends, bonded by their love of literature and their shared interest in Irish history and culture. Yeats considered Mrs. Moore to be one of his closest confidants, and admired her for her intelligence, wit, and compassion.
In 1932, Mrs. Moore fell ill and was quickly diagnosed with cancer. Yeats, who was then in his late 60s, was devastated by the news. He visited her frequently in the hospital, and the two of them spent many hours together, talking about their shared passions and reminiscing about their past experiences.
It was during this time that Yeats wrote Lament for Mrs. Mary Moore. The poem was published in the Irish Times on January 11, 1933, just a few months after Mrs. Moore's death.
Structure and Style
Lament for Mrs. Mary Moore is a beautiful and complex poem, full of rich imagery and vivid language. It is written in free verse, with no consistent rhyme scheme or meter. This lack of structure gives the poem a natural, conversational tone, which makes it feel like Yeats is speaking directly to the reader.
The poem is divided into three stanzas, each with a different focus. The first stanza is a reflection on Mrs. Moore's life and character, the second is a meditation on death and the afterlife, and the third is a farewell to Mrs. Moore and an expression of Yeats' grief.
One of the most striking things about Lament for Mrs. Mary Moore is its use of imagery. Yeats employs a wide range of metaphors and symbols to convey the complexity of his emotions. He compares Mrs. Moore to a flower, a bird, and a star, and uses imagery from nature to evoke a sense of the cycle of life and death.
Themes and Symbolism
At its core, Lament for Mrs. Mary Moore is a poem about mortality and the human experience of loss. Yeats grapples with the idea of death, exploring both its finality and its promise of transcendence. He acknowledges the pain of loss, while also finding solace in the idea that death is not the end, but rather a continuation of life in a different form.
One of the most powerful symbols in the poem is the image of the bird. Yeats compares Mrs. Moore to a bird in flight, suggesting that she has transcended the limitations of the physical world and entered a realm of spiritual freedom. The bird is also a symbol of the soul, which can transcend the limitations of the body and achieve a state of transcendence.
Another important symbol in the poem is the image of the star. Yeats compares Mrs. Moore to a star, suggesting that she has become a guidepost for others, a source of light and inspiration. The star is also a symbol of eternity, suggesting that Mrs. Moore's influence will continue long after her physical form has passed away.
Interpretation and Analysis
So, what does it all mean? What is Yeats trying to say with Lament for Mrs. Mary Moore? There are a few different ways to interpret the poem, but here are a few key takeaways:
- The poem is a tribute to Mrs. Moore, a celebration of her life and character. Yeats is mourning her loss, but he is also celebrating the influence she had on his life and the lives of others.
- The poem is a meditation on mortality and the human experience of loss. Yeats is grappling with the idea of death, exploring both the pain of loss and the promise of transcendence.
- The poem is a reflection on the power of nature and the cycle of life and death. Yeats uses imagery from nature to suggest that death is not an end, but a natural part of the cycle of life.
In conclusion, Lament for Mrs. Mary Moore is a masterpiece of poetry, a testament to Yeats' genius as a poet, and a tribute to his dear friend, Mary Moore. Through its rich imagery and vivid language, the poem explores the complexity of human emotions and the power of nature to inspire and console us. It is a moving expression of grief, but also a celebration of life and the enduring influence of those we love.
So, the next time you're looking for a powerful work of poetry, look no further than Lament for Mrs. Mary Moore. This incredible masterpiece is sure to leave you breathless, and will remind you of the enduring power of art to inspire, console, and uplift us.
Editor 2 Analysis and Explanation
Lament for Mrs. Mary Moore: A Masterpiece of Poetry by William Butler Yeats
William Butler Yeats, one of the greatest poets of the 20th century, is known for his profound and evocative poetry that explores themes of love, loss, and the human condition. Among his many works, Lament for Mrs. Mary Moore stands out as a masterpiece of poetry that captures the essence of grief and mourning in a powerful and moving way.
Written in 1916, Lament for Mrs. Mary Moore is a tribute to Yeats' close friend and mentor, Mary Moore, who had recently passed away. The poem is a deeply personal reflection on the loss of a loved one, and it is filled with vivid imagery and powerful emotions that resonate with readers to this day.
The poem begins with a description of the natural world, as Yeats observes the changing of the seasons and the passing of time. He notes how the leaves are falling from the trees, and how the birds are flying south for the winter. This imagery sets the tone for the poem, as Yeats reflects on the inevitability of death and the transience of life.
As the poem progresses, Yeats turns his attention to Mary Moore, whom he describes as a "great-hearted lady" who was beloved by all who knew her. He speaks of her kindness and generosity, and of the many lives she touched during her time on earth. He also notes how her passing has left a void in the lives of those who knew her, and how her absence is felt keenly by all who loved her.
Throughout the poem, Yeats uses vivid and evocative language to convey the depth of his grief and the intensity of his emotions. He speaks of the "aching heart" that he feels in the wake of Mary Moore's passing, and of the sense of loss that he experiences every day. He also speaks of the comfort that he finds in memories of Mary Moore, and of the solace that he takes in the knowledge that she is at peace.
One of the most striking aspects of Lament for Mrs. Mary Moore is the way in which Yeats uses imagery to convey the themes of the poem. He speaks of the "wind that blows through the world" and the "darkness that falls like a pall" over the land, using these images to convey the sense of loss and grief that he feels. He also speaks of the "golden light" that shines on the horizon, using this image to convey the hope and comfort that he finds in memories of Mary Moore.
Another notable aspect of the poem is the way in which Yeats uses repetition to create a sense of rhythm and momentum. He repeats the phrase "great-hearted lady" several times throughout the poem, using this repetition to emphasize the importance of Mary Moore and the impact that she had on those around her. He also repeats the phrase "I have lost" several times, using this repetition to convey the sense of loss and grief that he feels.
In addition to its powerful imagery and use of repetition, Lament for Mrs. Mary Moore is also notable for its use of rhyme and meter. The poem is written in a traditional ballad form, with a regular rhyme scheme and a steady rhythm that gives the poem a sense of structure and coherence. This form is particularly effective in conveying the themes of the poem, as it creates a sense of order and stability in the face of the chaos and uncertainty of death.
In conclusion, Lament for Mrs. Mary Moore is a masterpiece of poetry that captures the essence of grief and mourning in a powerful and moving way. Through its vivid imagery, powerful emotions, and use of repetition, rhyme, and meter, the poem conveys the depth of Yeats' grief and the impact that Mary Moore had on his life. It is a testament to the power of poetry to capture the human experience in all its complexity and beauty, and it remains a timeless work of art that continues to resonate with readers to this day.
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