'Never Give All The Heart' by William Butler Yeats
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Never give all the heart, for love
Will hardly seem worth thinking of
To passionate women if it seem
Certain, and they never dream
That it fades out from kiss to kiss;
For everything that's lovely is
But a brief, dreamy. Kind delight.
O never give the heart outright,
For they, for all smooth lips can say,
Have given their hearts up to the play.
And who could play it well enough
If deaf and dumb and blind with love?
He that made this knows all the cost,
For he gave all his heart and lost.
Editor 1 Interpretation
"Never Give All The Heart" by William Butler Yeats
Oh, what a beautiful poem! "Never Give All The Heart" by William Butler Yeats is a masterpiece of modernist poetry that explores the themes of love, loss, and the complexities of human relationships. In this essay, we will dive deep into the poem's structure, language, and imagery to uncover the hidden meanings and interpret the author's message.
"Never Give All The Heart" was published in Yeats's 1899 collection "The Wind Among The Reeds." The poem is a part of a series of poems that explore the poet's unrequited love for Maude Gonne, an Irish revolutionary, and feminist. Yeats's relationship with Gonne was a complex one, and he wrote several poems about her throughout his career. "Never Give All The Heart" is one such poem that captures the essence of their relationship.
"Never Give All The Heart" is a sonnet with fourteen lines, written in iambic pentameter. The poem follows the traditional rhyme scheme of ABAB CDCD EFEF GG, which adds a musicality to the lines. The use of the sonnet form is significant as it is often associated with love poetry. However, Yeats subverts the form by using it to express the idea of not giving away one's heart entirely.
Yeats's use of language is one of the most striking features of the poem. He employs a range of literary devices to convey his message. For instance, the repetition of the phrase "Never give all the heart" emphasizes the central idea of the poem. The repetition also creates a sense of urgency and caution, warning the reader not to give their heart away too easily.
The use of metaphors and imagery throughout the poem is also noteworthy. Yeats compares love to a "fire" and a "sun." These metaphors suggest both the warmth and passion of love but also its destructive power. The imagery of the "fire" and "sun" also alludes to the themes of light and darkness, which are often associated with love and passion.
The central theme of the poem is the idea of not giving one's heart away entirely. Yeats argues that love is a complex emotion that should be approached with caution. The line "For nothing can be sole or whole/That has not been rent" suggests that love must go through trials and tribulations to be complete. It is only through the experience of pain and loss that one can truly appreciate the value of love.
The poem also explores the theme of time and change. Yeats writes, "When all the world is old, lad,/ And all the trees are brown." This line suggests that time changes everything, including love. Love, like everything else, is subject to the ravages of time and can become jaded and worn out.
"Never Give All The Heart" is a cautionary tale about the dangers of giving oneself entirely to another. Yeats warns the reader not to lose themselves in love and to maintain a sense of self. The line "For nothing can be sole or whole/That has not been rent" suggests that love must be experienced in its entirety, including the pain and loss that come with it. It is through these experiences that one can appreciate the beauty and value of love.
The poem can also be interpreted as a commentary on Yeats's relationship with Maude Gonne. Yeats was deeply in love with Gonne, but she never reciprocated his feelings. The poem suggests that Yeats was aware of the one-sided nature of their relationship and the dangers of giving his heart entirely to her.
"Never Give All The Heart" is a beautiful and complex poem that explores the themes of love, loss, and the complexities of human relationships. Yeats's use of language and imagery creates a vivid and evocative picture of the dangers of giving oneself entirely to another. The poem is a timeless reminder of the value of love and the importance of maintaining a sense of self in relationships.
Editor 2 Analysis and Explanation
Never Give All The Heart: An Analysis of Yeats' Classic Poem
William Butler Yeats is one of the most celebrated poets of the 20th century. His works are known for their depth, beauty, and complexity. One of his most famous poems is "Never Give All The Heart," which was first published in 1933. This poem is a beautiful and poignant reflection on love, loss, and the human heart. In this article, we will analyze and explain the meaning behind this classic poem.
The poem begins with the line, "Never give all the heart, for love will hardly seem worth thinking of." This line sets the tone for the rest of the poem. Yeats is warning us that giving our entire heart to someone can be dangerous. Love is a powerful emotion that can consume us, and if we give too much of ourselves, we risk losing our identity and sense of self.
Yeats goes on to say, "To passionate women, if it seem certain, / The chance of a night-time or a shady lane, / Or any one of myriad places / That make for love." Here, Yeats is addressing women specifically, warning them not to give their hearts too easily. He is cautioning them against the dangers of falling in love too quickly and without caution. He is also suggesting that love can be found in unexpected places, such as a "shady lane," and that we should be careful not to let our passions lead us astray.
The next stanza reads, "For nothing can be sole or whole / That has not been rent." This line is a powerful statement about the nature of love. Yeats is saying that love cannot be complete unless it has been tested and endured. Love is not just about the good times, but also about the struggles and challenges that come with it. It is through these struggles that love becomes stronger and more meaningful.
Yeats then goes on to say, "Lovers, if they be worthy of that name, / Shall live and thrive like scattered seed / And die, but in their dying they shall make / A rain that shall replenish the world." This stanza is a beautiful reflection on the power of love. Yeats is saying that true love is not just about the individuals involved, but also about the impact they have on the world around them. Love has the power to inspire and renew, even in the face of death.
The final stanza reads, "Hearts are not had as a gift but hearts are earned / By those that are not entirely beautiful." This line is a powerful statement about the nature of love and relationships. Yeats is saying that love cannot be bought or given as a gift. It must be earned through hard work, dedication, and sacrifice. He is also suggesting that true beauty is not just about physical appearance, but also about the inner qualities that make a person who they are.
In conclusion, "Never Give All The Heart" is a beautiful and powerful poem that reflects on the nature of love, loss, and the human heart. Yeats is warning us not to give our hearts too easily, but also reminding us of the power and beauty of true love. He is suggesting that love is not just about the individuals involved, but also about the impact they have on the world around them. This poem is a timeless reflection on the complexities of the human heart and the power of love to inspire and renew.
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