'A Deep Sworn Vow' by William Butler Yeats
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The Wild Swans at Coole1919Others because you did not keep
That deep-sworn vow have been friends of mine;
Yet always when I look death in the face,
When I clamber to the heights of sleep,
Or when I grow excited with wine,
Suddenly I meet your face.
Editor 1 Interpretation
A Deep Sworn Vow by William Butler Yeats: A Literary Criticism
Are you looking for a poem that depicts the power of love and the intensity of commitment that comes with it? Look no further than William Butler Yeats' "A Deep Sworn Vow." This poem is a beautiful expression of the depth of love and the enduring promise that lovers make to one another.
Before diving into the poem itself, it is important to understand the context in which it was written. Yeats wrote "A Deep Sworn Vow" in 1919, during a time of great personal transformation for the poet. He had recently married Georgie Hyde-Lees, a woman who would prove to be a major influence on his life and work.
Yeats was also deeply involved in the Irish nationalist movement, which sought to establish an independent Ireland free from British rule. This political backdrop is reflected in his poetry, including "A Deep Sworn Vow."
The poem begins with the speaker making a promise to his beloved: "Others because you did not keep / That deep-sworn vow have been friends of mine." This sets the tone for the rest of the poem, which is a meditation on the power of love and the importance of keeping one's promises.
The second stanza continues this theme, as the speaker describes the ways in which he has been changed by his love for his beloved: "But there's not a friend I have / Knows that my feet are torn and bloody / Because of the oath I swore to you." This imagery of the speaker's feet being torn and bloody is a powerful metaphor for the sacrifices that love requires.
In the third stanza, the speaker reflects on the nature of love itself: "And if there be quarrels between us / Such hands help hearts as hands do." This line is a beautiful expression of the idea that love is not always easy, but that it is worth the effort to work through any difficulties that arise.
The fourth stanza is perhaps the most powerful in the poem, as the speaker reflects on the enduring nature of their love: "For nothing can be sole or whole / That has not been rent." This line is a beautiful expression of the idea that love requires sacrifice, and that those sacrifices are what make the love whole and complete.
The final stanza brings the poem full circle, as the speaker reiterates his deep commitment to his beloved: "Only our love hath no decay; / This no tomorrow hath, nor yesterday." This line is a beautiful expression of the idea that true love is eternal and unchanging.
At its core, "A Deep Sworn Vow" is a poem about the power of love and the importance of keeping one's promises. The speaker's commitment to his beloved is unwavering, even in the face of difficulty and hardship. This message is particularly poignant given the political context in which the poem was written, as it reflects the idea that the struggle for Irish independence required a similar level of commitment and sacrifice.
The imagery in the poem is also particularly powerful. The metaphor of the speaker's torn and bloody feet is a beautiful expression of the idea that love requires sacrifice. Similarly, the imagery of something being "rent" in order to become "sole or whole" is a powerful metaphor for the idea that true love requires sacrifice and that those sacrifices are what make the love complete.
Overall, "A Deep Sworn Vow" is a beautiful and powerful poem that speaks to the enduring nature of love and the importance of keeping one's promises. It is a testament to the power of love to transform us and to the importance of staying committed even in the face of difficulty and hardship.
Editor 2 Analysis and Explanation
Poetry has always been a medium of expression for the human soul. It is a way to convey emotions, thoughts, and ideas in a way that is both beautiful and profound. One such poem that captures the essence of this sentiment is "A Deep Sworn Vow" by William Butler Yeats. This poem is a masterpiece of poetic expression that delves deep into the human psyche and explores the complexities of love, loyalty, and commitment.
The poem begins with the speaker making a deep sworn vow to his beloved. He promises to love her forever, even if the world were to end. This opening line sets the tone for the rest of the poem, which is a testament to the power of love and the strength of commitment. The speaker's vow is not just a promise to love his beloved, but a declaration of his unwavering loyalty and devotion.
As the poem progresses, the speaker describes the various challenges that he and his beloved may face in their journey together. He talks about the storms that may come, the trials they may have to endure, and the obstacles that may stand in their way. However, he remains steadfast in his commitment to his beloved, promising to stand by her side through thick and thin.
The poem is filled with vivid imagery that captures the beauty and power of love. The speaker describes his beloved as a "queen" and a "goddess," elevating her to a position of reverence and admiration. He talks about the "golden apples" of love, which symbolize the sweetness and richness of their relationship. The imagery in the poem is both beautiful and evocative, painting a picture of a love that is pure, powerful, and enduring.
One of the most striking aspects of the poem is its use of repetition. The phrase "I swear" is repeated throughout the poem, emphasizing the speaker's commitment to his beloved. This repetition creates a sense of urgency and intensity, underscoring the importance of the speaker's vow. The repetition also serves to reinforce the idea that love is not just a feeling, but a conscious decision to remain loyal and committed to one's beloved.
Another notable feature of the poem is its use of rhyme and meter. The poem is written in iambic pentameter, which gives it a rhythmic and musical quality. The rhyme scheme is ABAB, which creates a sense of symmetry and balance. The use of rhyme and meter adds to the beauty and elegance of the poem, making it a joy to read and recite.
The poem also explores the theme of mortality. The speaker acknowledges that death is inevitable, but he promises to love his beloved even beyond the grave. This idea of love transcending death is a powerful one, and it speaks to the enduring nature of true love. The poem suggests that love is not bound by time or space, but is a force that can overcome even the greatest of obstacles.
In conclusion, "A Deep Sworn Vow" is a beautiful and powerful poem that captures the essence of love, loyalty, and commitment. The poem is a testament to the enduring nature of true love, and it speaks to the power of the human spirit to overcome even the greatest of challenges. The use of vivid imagery, repetition, rhyme, and meter all contribute to the beauty and elegance of the poem, making it a true masterpiece of poetic expression. William Butler Yeats has created a work of art that will continue to inspire and move readers for generations to come.
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