'Crazy Jane On The Day Of Judgment' by William Butler Yeats
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'Love is all
That cannot take the whole
Body and soul';
And that is what Jane said.
'Take the sour
If you take me
I can scoff and lour
And scold for an hour.'
"That's certainly the case,' said he.
'Naked I lay,
The grass my bed;
Naked and hidden away,
That black day';
And that is what Jane said.
'What can be shown?
What true love be?
All could be known or shown
If Time were but gone.'
'That's certainly the case,' said he.
Editor 1 Interpretation
Crazy Jane On The Day Of Judgment: A Literary Criticism and Interpretation
William Butler Yeats is one of the most celebrated poets of the 20th century. His works are known for their lyrical beauty, intellectual depth, and philosophical inquiries. Crazy Jane On The Day Of Judgment is one of Yeats' most fascinating poems. Written in 1927, the poem explores themes of love, death, and the afterlife through the character of Crazy Jane, a woman who defies societal norms and embraces her wild, free spirit.
Overview of the Poem
Crazy Jane On The Day Of Judgment is a 36-line poem that is written in free verse. The poem is divided into three stanzas, each comprising twelve lines. The title of the poem refers to the biblical concept of Judgment Day, when God will judge the living and the dead. The poem is a conversation between the speaker and Crazy Jane, who reflects on her life and her beliefs about the afterlife.
Analysis of the Poem
The opening stanza of the poem sets the tone for the entire piece. The speaker asks Crazy Jane about her thoughts on Judgment Day, to which she responds, "I'll be waiting for you, And I'll know all you hid."
Here, Yeats presents Jane as a character who is not afraid of judgment. She is confident in her beliefs and is ready to face the consequences of her actions. The phrase "I'll know all you hid" suggests that Jane has a deep understanding of the speaker's innermost thoughts and emotions, as if she can read his mind.
The second half of the stanza, "Let me laugh loud, Let me cry hard," highlights Jane's emotional intensity. She is a character who experiences life to the fullest, laughing and crying with equal fervor. The phrase "let me" suggests that Jane is demanding her right to express her emotions freely, without being restricted by social norms.
The second stanza of the poem focuses on the idea of love and the afterlife. The speaker asks Jane if she believes in eternal life, to which she responds, "I, that have seen all these things, / And laughed and wept, / Loved and hated, / Shall I not rejoice / When the thing I have feared comes to pass?"
Here, Jane presents an intriguing perspective on the afterlife. She suggests that the experiences of life, both good and bad, are necessary for one to fully appreciate the joys of eternal life. The phrase "the thing I have feared" refers to Judgment Day, which is traditionally portrayed as a time of reckoning and punishment. Jane, however, sees it as a moment of triumph, a time when she can finally be reunited with her loved ones.
The second half of the stanza, "All visible things must pass / Or they will weigh you down," highlights Jane's understanding of the transience of life. She recognizes that everything in life is temporary, and that holding onto material possessions or earthly desires will only hinder one's spiritual growth. The phrase "weigh you down" suggests that such attachments can be a burden on one's soul, preventing them from ascending to a higher plane of existence.
The final stanza of the poem focuses on the idea of redemption. The speaker asks Jane if she believes in forgiveness, to which she responds, "If I have killed one, I have killed two-- / The vampire who said he was you / And drank my blood for a year, / Seven years, if you want to know."
This stanza presents a complex image of Jane as a character who has committed unspeakable acts, yet also recognizes the need for forgiveness. The reference to the "vampire" suggests that Jane has been taken advantage of by someone who pretended to be the speaker. The phrase "drank my blood" symbolizes the emotional and spiritual toll that this person has taken on Jane.
Despite the horrific nature of this experience, Jane is still able to recognize the need for forgiveness. The phrase "if you want to know" suggests that she is almost challenging the speaker to judge her, to see if he is capable of offering forgiveness. Jane is a character who is unapologetically herself, yet also recognizes the need to be held accountable for her actions and to seek redemption.
Interpretation of the Poem
Crazy Jane On The Day Of Judgment is a poem that presents a complex and nuanced image of the afterlife. Through the character of Crazy Jane, Yeats challenges traditional notions of redemption and salvation, suggesting that one's experiences in life are necessary for spiritual growth and that forgiveness and redemption are possible even for those who have committed unspeakable acts.
At the heart of the poem is the idea that one should live life to the fullest, experiencing all of its joys and sorrows without reservation. Jane is a character who embodies this philosophy, laughing and crying with equal intensity, and recognizing the need to let go of earthly attachments in order to embrace the spiritual realm.
Ultimately, Crazy Jane On The Day Of Judgment is a powerful meditation on the human condition, exploring the complexities of love, death, and the afterlife. It is a poem that challenges readers to examine their own beliefs about these topics and to embrace the wild, free spirit of Crazy Jane.
Editor 2 Analysis and Explanation
Crazy Jane On The Day Of Judgment: A Deep Dive into Yeats' Masterpiece
William Butler Yeats is one of the most celebrated poets of the 20th century, and his works continue to inspire and captivate readers to this day. One of his most famous poems, Crazy Jane On The Day Of Judgment, is a masterpiece that delves into the complexities of human nature and the concept of redemption. In this article, we will take a deep dive into this classic poem, exploring its themes, symbolism, and literary devices.
The poem begins with the speaker addressing Crazy Jane, a character who appears in several of Yeats' works. The speaker asks Jane what she will do on the day of judgment, when all souls will be judged and sent to either heaven or hell. Jane's response is unexpected and thought-provoking:
"I'll be on the side of the men who swear They can't be bothered with heaven and hell, But gather sweets for death's bitter tooth, And come to the banquet when I choose."
Here, Jane reveals that she will not align herself with either heaven or hell, but instead will choose to live life on her own terms. She will gather "sweets for death's bitter tooth," meaning that she will enjoy life's pleasures even though they may ultimately lead to her demise. This idea of living life to the fullest, even in the face of death, is a recurring theme in Yeats' works.
The next stanza of the poem introduces a new character, a bishop who is shocked by Jane's response. He tells her that she will be punished for her sins, but Jane is unafraid. She responds:
"I have sinewed myself for flight, Daunted by none and driven by delight, Ravening through the world like the hounds of hell, And not recks the poor souls of dead men."
Here, Jane asserts her independence and her refusal to be bound by societal norms or religious dogma. She has "sinewed herself for flight," meaning that she has prepared herself for whatever may come, and is unafraid of the consequences of her actions. She is driven by "delight," or pleasure, and is unapologetic about her pursuit of it. The reference to the "hounds of hell" is a metaphor for her unbridled passion and desire, which she pursues without regard for the consequences.
The bishop continues to chastise Jane, telling her that she will be punished for her sins. But Jane remains defiant, telling him:
"I cared not what the sailors say, What the man on the street may say, Spite of all the learnèd say, It's maids and dogs and bedlam play That give my heart its song and sway."
Here, Jane is saying that she does not care what others think of her, whether they are sailors, common people, or even the learned scholars of the world. She finds joy in the simple things in life, such as playing with dogs and enjoying the company of other women. This idea of finding joy in the simple things is a recurring theme in Yeats' works, and is often associated with the concept of "the wild."
The final stanza of the poem brings all of these themes together, as Jane declares:
"When the angel's trumpet sounds, And souls to bodies sway, My face will be before me, Wrinkled and wise and gray; My bedclothes where my children laid, Their sleeping hearts will be; But I shall hear the angel trumpet, And the dead centuries."
Here, Jane is saying that when the day of judgment comes, she will be ready. She will not be afraid of what is to come, because she has lived life on her own terms and has found joy in the simple things. Her face will be "wrinkled and wise and gray," a testament to the life she has lived. Her bedclothes will be a reminder of the love she has shared with her children. And even though she will hear the angel's trumpet and the dead centuries, she will not be afraid, because she has lived a life that is true to herself.
In terms of literary devices, Yeats employs several in this poem. The use of metaphor is particularly effective, as he compares Jane to the "hounds of hell" and the bishop to a "jackdaw." The repetition of the phrase "I cared not" also adds emphasis to Jane's defiance and independence. The use of rhyme and meter also gives the poem a musical quality, making it a pleasure to read aloud.
In conclusion, Crazy Jane On The Day Of Judgment is a masterpiece of modern poetry that explores the complexities of human nature and the concept of redemption. Through the character of Crazy Jane, Yeats presents a powerful message about the importance of living life on one's own terms and finding joy in the simple things. The poem is a testament to Yeats' skill as a poet, and continues to inspire readers to this day.
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