'The Secret Rose' by William Butler Yeats
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Far-off, most secret, and inviolate Rose,
Enfold me in my hour of hours; where those
Who sought thee in the Holy Sepulchre,
Or in the wine-vat, dwell beyond the stir
And tumult of defeated dreams; and deep
Among pale eyelids, heavy with the sleep
Men have named beauty. Thy great leaves enfold
The ancient beards, the helms of ruby and gold
Of the crowned Magi; and the king whose eyes
Saw the pierced Hands and Rood of elder rise
In Druid vapour and make the torches dim;
Till vain frenzy awoke and he died; and him
Who met Fand walking among flaming dew
By a grey shore where the wind never blew,
And lost the world and Emer for a kiss;
And him who drove the gods out of their liss,
And till a hundred moms had flowered red
Feasted, and wept the barrows of his dead;
And the proud dreaming king who flung the crown
And sorrow away, and calling bard and clown
Dwelt among wine-stained wanderers in deep woods:
And him who sold tillage, and house, and goods,
And sought through lands and islands numberless years,
Until he found, with laughter and with tears,
A woman of so shining loveliness
That men threshed corn at midnight by a tress,
A little stolen tress. I, too, await
The hour of thy great wind of love and hate.
When shall the stars be blown about the sky,
Like the sparks blown out of a smithy, and die?
Surely thine hour has come, thy great wind blows,
Far-off, most secret, and inviolate Rose?
Editor 1 Interpretation
The Secret Rose by William Butler Yeats: A Literary Criticism and Interpretation
Have you ever read a poem that captivated you from the first line to the last? A poem that made you feel as though you were part of a secret world, full of mystery, beauty, and wonder? If not, then you need to read William Butler Yeats' masterpiece, "The Secret Rose."
Published in 1897, "The Secret Rose" is a collection of twenty poems that explore themes of love, loss, beauty, and the supernatural. The title of the collection comes from a line in one of the poems: "And I will make you brooches and toys for your delight, Of bird-song at morning and star-shine at night. I will make a palace fit for you and me, Of green days in forests, and blue days at sea. I will make my kitchen, and you shall keep your room, Where white flows the river and bright blows the broom, And you shall wash your linen and keep your body white In rainfall at morning and dewfall at night. And I will give you a crown of myrtle and roses, A secret flower."
The first poem in the collection, "The Lover Tells of the Rose in His Heart," sets the tone for the rest of the collection. In this poem, the speaker describes his love for a woman as a rose that blooms in his heart. He says that he cannot pluck the rose, for fear of losing it, but he can share its beauty with the world through his poetry.
The use of the rose as a symbol of love and beauty is a recurring theme in the collection. In "He Tells of a Valley Full of Lovers," the speaker describes a magical valley where lovers dance among the roses. In "He Tells of a Rose in His Heart," the speaker says that he has a secret rose that no one can see but him and his lover.
But the collection is not just about love and beauty. There are also poems that explore darker themes, such as death and the supernatural. In "He Tells of the Perfect Beauty," the speaker describes a woman who is so beautiful that she must be a witch. In "The Hosting of the Sidhe," the speaker describes a supernatural race that comes to earth to take mortal women as their brides.
One of the most powerful poems in the collection is "He Mourns for the Change That Has Come Upon Him and His Beloved, and Longs for the End of the World." In this poem, the speaker laments the loss of his youth and his lover's beauty. He says that everything in the world has changed, and he longs for the end of the world so that he can be reunited with his lover in the afterlife.
So what does "The Secret Rose" mean? What is Yeats trying to say with these poems? There are many possible interpretations, but one of the most common is that the collection is a celebration of beauty and the imagination.
Yeats was a poet who believed in the power of the imagination to transform the world. He believed that poetry was a way to touch the divine, and that the beauty of the natural world was a reflection of the divine. In "The Secret Rose," he explores this theme by using the rose as a symbol of beauty and the imagination.
But "The Secret Rose" is not just a celebration of beauty. It is also a meditation on the transience of life and the inevitability of death. The speaker in many of the poems is aware of the fleeting nature of beauty and the impermanence of life. He longs for something that is eternal and unchanging, such as the afterlife.
Another possible interpretation of "The Secret Rose" is that it is a reflection of Yeats' own personal struggles. Yeats was a man who was deeply interested in the occult and the supernatural. He believed in the existence of a hidden world that was accessible only to those who had the right knowledge and the right mindset. In "The Secret Rose," he explores these themes by using supernatural imagery and allusions to ancient myths and legends.
In conclusion, "The Secret Rose" is a collection of poems that explores themes of love, beauty, death, and the supernatural. It is a celebration of the power of the imagination and the beauty of the natural world. It is also a meditation on the transience of life and the inevitability of death.
But perhaps the most important thing about "The Secret Rose" is that it is a work of art that can be enjoyed on many different levels. It can be read as a collection of love poems, a meditation on beauty and the imagination, or a reflection of Yeats' own personal struggles. Whatever interpretation you choose, one thing is certain: "The Secret Rose" is a masterpiece of poetry that will continue to inspire and delight readers for generations to come.
Editor 2 Analysis and Explanation
The Secret Rose: A Masterpiece of William Butler Yeats
William Butler Yeats, the Irish poet, playwright, and Nobel laureate, is known for his profound and mystical poetry that explores the complexities of human existence, spirituality, and mythology. One of his most celebrated works, The Secret Rose, is a collection of poems that showcases his mastery of language and his deep understanding of the human psyche.
The Secret Rose was first published in 1897 and consists of twenty-two poems that are divided into three sections: The Rose, The Crucifixion of the Outcast, and The Wisdom of the King. Each section explores a different theme and is connected by the overarching motif of the rose, which symbolizes love, beauty, and spiritual transcendence.
The first section of The Secret Rose is titled The Rose and consists of nine poems that revolve around the theme of love and the search for spiritual fulfillment. The opening poem, The Song of Wandering Aengus, is one of Yeats' most famous works and tells the story of a man who falls in love with a beautiful woman he sees in a dream. He spends his life searching for her, and when he finally finds her, she transforms into a swan and flies away.
The Song of Wandering Aengus is a powerful metaphor for the human search for love and spiritual transcendence. The dream woman represents the ideal of perfection that we all strive for, but can never fully attain. The swan represents the fleeting nature of beauty and the transience of life. The poem is a reminder that the search for love and spiritual fulfillment is a lifelong journey that requires patience, perseverance, and a willingness to accept the impermanence of life.
The other poems in The Rose section explore similar themes of love, beauty, and spiritual transcendence. The Rose of the World is a beautiful ode to the power of love and the beauty of the natural world. The Lover tells the story of a man who falls in love with a woman who is already married and must navigate the complexities of love and morality. The Indian to His Love is a hauntingly beautiful poem that explores the theme of love and the search for spiritual fulfillment through the lens of Indian mythology.
The Crucifixion of the Outcast
The second section of The Secret Rose is titled The Crucifixion of the Outcast and consists of six poems that explore the theme of social exclusion and the search for redemption. The poems in this section are darker and more introspective than those in The Rose section and reflect Yeats' fascination with the darker aspects of human nature.
The title poem, The Crucifixion of the Outcast, tells the story of a man who is rejected by society and ultimately crucified for his beliefs. The poem is a powerful metaphor for the human experience of social exclusion and the search for redemption. The outcast represents the marginalized and oppressed members of society who are rejected by the mainstream and forced to live on the fringes of society. The poem is a reminder that redemption is possible even in the darkest of circumstances and that the human spirit is capable of transcending even the most difficult challenges.
The other poems in this section explore similar themes of social exclusion and the search for redemption. The Folly of Being Comforted is a hauntingly beautiful poem that explores the theme of unrequited love and the pain of rejection. The Lamentation of the Old Pensioner is a poignant reflection on the passage of time and the inevitability of death. The Two Trees is a powerful metaphor for the human experience of duality and the search for unity.
The Wisdom of the King
The third and final section of The Secret Rose is titled The Wisdom of the King and consists of seven poems that explore the theme of wisdom and the search for spiritual enlightenment. The poems in this section are more philosophical and reflective than those in the previous sections and reflect Yeats' deep interest in spirituality and mysticism.
The title poem, The Wisdom of the King, tells the story of a wise king who imparts his wisdom to his subjects before he dies. The poem is a powerful metaphor for the human experience of mortality and the search for spiritual enlightenment. The king represents the wise and enlightened members of society who have achieved a higher level of consciousness and are able to impart their wisdom to others. The poem is a reminder that the search for spiritual enlightenment is a lifelong journey that requires patience, perseverance, and a willingness to learn from others.
The other poems in this section explore similar themes of wisdom and the search for spiritual enlightenment. The Heart of the Woman is a beautiful ode to the power of love and the beauty of the human heart. The Host of the Air is a hauntingly beautiful poem that explores the theme of spiritual transcendence through the lens of Irish mythology. The Travail of Passion is a powerful reflection on the human experience of suffering and the search for spiritual enlightenment.
The Secret Rose is a masterpiece of William Butler Yeats that showcases his mastery of language and his deep understanding of the human psyche. The collection of poems explores a wide range of themes, including love, beauty, social exclusion, redemption, wisdom, and spiritual enlightenment. The overarching motif of the rose symbolizes the human search for love, beauty, and spiritual transcendence. The Secret Rose is a timeless work of literature that continues to inspire and captivate readers to this day.
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