'He Remembers Forgotten Beauty' by William Butler Yeats
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When my arms wrap you round I press
My heart upon the loveliness
That has long faded from the world;
The jewelled crowns that kings have hurled
In shadowy pools, when armies fled;
The love-tales wrought with silken thread
By dreaming ladies upon cloth
That has made fat the murderous moth;
The roses that of old time were
Woven by ladies in their hair,
The dew-cold lilies ladies bore
Through many a sacred corridor
Where such grey clouds of incense rose
That only God's eyes did not close:
For that pale breast and lingering hand
Come from a more dream-heavy land,
A more dream-heavy hour than this;
And when you sigh from kiss to kiss
I hear white Beauty sighing, too,
For hours when all must fade like dew.
But flame on flame, and deep on deep,
Throne over throne where in half sleep,
Their swords upon their iron knees,
Brood her high lonely mysteries.
Editor 1 Interpretation
He Remembers Forgotten Beauty: A Literary Criticism and Interpretation
William Butler Yeats' poem, "He Remembers Forgotten Beauty," is a masterpiece of poetic language and imagery that captures the essence of life's fleeting moments. The poem is a reflection on the passage of time, the transience of beauty, and the human condition.
William Butler Yeats was a famous Irish poet, playwright, and politician. He was born in 1865 and died in 1939, leaving behind a legacy of literary works that have inspired generations of writers and readers. Yeats was a prolific writer who wrote poetry, plays, and essays throughout his life.
Yeats was deeply influenced by the Celtic folklore and mythology of his native Ireland. He was also a member of the Irish Literary Revival, a movement that sought to revive the Irish language and literature. Yeats' poetry reflects his interest in Irish folklore and mythology, as well as his own personal experiences and observations of life.
"He Remembers Forgotten Beauty" is a poem that explores the theme of beauty and its fleeting nature. The poem is written in free verse, with irregular meter and rhyme. The poem consists of four stanzas, each with six lines.
The poem begins with the speaker reminiscing about a moment of beauty that he had witnessed in his youth. The beauty is described as "a young girl walking in a garden." The speaker recalls how the girl's beauty had "made his blood race" and had "filled his heart with longing."
The second stanza shifts the focus to the present. The speaker is now an old man who has lost his youthful vigor and is "gray and bent with age." He reflects on the transience of beauty and how it fades with time. The beauty that he had witnessed in his youth is now forgotten and lost.
The third stanza is a reflection on the human condition. The speaker acknowledges the inevitability of death and the fact that all things, including beauty, must come to an end. He speaks of the "cold winds of heaven" that will eventually extinguish all life.
The final stanza is a meditation on the power of memory. The speaker notes that even though the beauty he had witnessed in his youth is now gone, it still lives on in his memory. He is able to relive the moment and the feelings it had evoked. The speaker concludes the poem by stating that his memories are a source of comfort and solace in his old age.
"He Remembers Forgotten Beauty" is a poem that speaks to the universal human experience of aging and the passage of time. The poem reminds us that beauty is fleeting and that it is important to appreciate it while it lasts. The poem also speaks to the power of memory and how it can provide solace and comfort in old age.
The poem can be interpreted as a reflection on the cyclical nature of life. The beauty that the speaker had witnessed in his youth has now faded and is forgotten. However, the memory of that beauty lives on and provides a sense of continuity and connection to the past. The poem suggests that even though things must come to an end, their memory can endure and provide a sense of meaning and purpose.
The poem can also be interpreted as a meditation on the human condition. The speaker acknowledges the inevitability of death and the fact that all things must come to an end. However, the poem suggests that even though death is inevitable, the memory of life can endure and provide a sense of comfort and solace in the face of mortality.
"He Remembers Forgotten Beauty" is a poem that speaks to the power of memory and the transience of beauty. The poem reminds us that even though beauty is fleeting and must come to an end, its memory can endure and provide a source of comfort and solace in old age. The poem speaks to the universal human experience of aging and the passage of time, and reminds us of the cyclical nature of life. William Butler Yeats' poem is a timeless masterpiece that continues to speak to readers today.
Editor 2 Analysis and Explanation
He Remembers Forgotten Beauty: A Timeless Poem by William Butler Yeats
William Butler Yeats is one of the most celebrated poets of the 20th century. His works have stood the test of time and continue to inspire generations of readers. One of his most famous poems is "He Remembers Forgotten Beauty," which was first published in 1919. This poem is a beautiful and poignant reflection on the fleeting nature of beauty and the inevitability of aging.
The poem begins with the speaker reminiscing about a time when he was young and in love. He remembers a beautiful woman who he once knew, but who has since passed away. The speaker describes her as having "hair that shone like gold in the sun" and "eyes that were like the blue of heaven." He recalls how he used to be enchanted by her beauty and how he would spend hours gazing into her eyes.
However, as the poem progresses, the speaker acknowledges that time has passed and that both he and the woman have aged. He reflects on how the passing of time has changed their appearances and how their once youthful beauty has faded. He describes the woman's hair as now being "grey" and her eyes as "dimmed with grief." The speaker also acknowledges that he himself has aged and that his own appearance has changed.
Despite the passing of time and the fading of beauty, the speaker still holds onto the memory of the woman's beauty. He remembers how her beauty once brought him joy and how it still has the power to move him, even in her absence. He reflects on how the memory of her beauty has become a source of comfort to him, even as he acknowledges that it is a fleeting and ephemeral thing.
The poem ends with the speaker acknowledging that all beauty is temporary and that it will eventually fade away. He reflects on how the memory of the woman's beauty has become a symbol of the transience of all things and how it has taught him to appreciate the beauty of the present moment. He concludes by saying that even though the woman's beauty has faded, it still lives on in his memory and in the beauty of the natural world around him.
"He Remembers Forgotten Beauty" is a powerful and moving poem that speaks to the universal human experience of aging and the passing of time. Yeats uses vivid imagery and lyrical language to evoke the beauty of the woman and the transience of all things. The poem is a reminder that beauty is fleeting and that we must learn to appreciate it while we can.
One of the most striking aspects of the poem is the way in which Yeats uses imagery to evoke the beauty of the woman. He describes her hair as "shone like gold in the sun" and her eyes as "like the blue of heaven." These descriptions are not only beautiful in themselves, but they also serve to create a vivid picture of the woman in the reader's mind. The use of color imagery is particularly effective, as it helps to create a sense of the woman's beauty as something radiant and otherworldly.
Another notable aspect of the poem is the way in which Yeats uses language to convey the passage of time. He describes the woman's hair as now being "grey" and her eyes as "dimmed with grief." These descriptions are a stark contrast to the earlier descriptions of her beauty, and they serve to highlight the inevitability of aging and the fading of beauty. The use of language in this way is a powerful reminder that all things are temporary and that we must learn to appreciate them while we can.
The poem also has a strong emotional resonance, as it speaks to the universal human experience of aging and the passing of time. The speaker's reflections on the woman's beauty are not only a tribute to her, but they also serve as a reminder of the beauty that exists in the world around us. The poem is a poignant reflection on the transience of all things and the importance of cherishing the beauty of the present moment.
In conclusion, "He Remembers Forgotten Beauty" is a timeless poem that speaks to the universal human experience of aging and the passing of time. Yeats uses vivid imagery and lyrical language to evoke the beauty of the woman and the transience of all things. The poem is a reminder that beauty is fleeting and that we must learn to appreciate it while we can. It is a powerful and moving tribute to the beauty of the natural world and the memories that we hold dear.
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