'Mad As The Mist And Snow' by William Butler Yeats
AI and Tech Aggregator
Download Mp3s Free
Tears of the Kingdom Roleplay
Best Free University Courses Online
Bolt and bar the shutter,
For the foul winds blow:
Our minds are at their best this night,
And I seem to know
That everything outside us is
Mad as the mist and snow.
Horace there by Homer stands,
Plato stands below,
And here is Tully's open page.
How many years ago
Were you and I unlettered lads
Mad as the mist and snow?
You ask what makes me sigh, old friend,
What makes me shudder so?
I shudder and I sigh to think
That even Cicero
And many-minded Homer were
Mad as the mist and snow.
Editor 1 Interpretation
"Mad As The Mist And Snow" by William Butler Yeats: A Literary Criticism and Interpretation
Holy cow! What a poem! William Butler Yeats truly outdid himself with "Mad As The Mist And Snow." Let's dive into this masterpiece and see what makes it so remarkable.
"Mad As The Mist And Snow" was first published in Yeats' collection "In the Seven Woods" in 1904. The poem consists of six stanzas, each containing four lines, and follows a rhyme scheme of abab.
The title of the poem is taken from a line in William Shakespeare's play "The Winter's Tale." It appears in Act 4, Scene 4, where the character Autolycus says, "I am mad as the mist and snow." However, Yeats' poem doesn't directly reference the play beyond the title.
The first stanza sets the tone for the entire poem. Yeats writes, "Bolt and bar the shutter, for the foul winds blow: / Our minds are at their best this night, and I seem to know / That everything outside us is mad as the mist and snow." The imagery here is powerful. The use of "bolt and bar the shutter" creates a sense of foreboding, as if the world outside is dangerous and must be kept out. The mention of the "foul winds" only adds to this feeling.
The second stanza continues this theme by describing the "darkened lands" and "tossed tumultuous seas." The phrase "wilderness of mirrors" is particularly striking. It suggests a world that is both chaotic and deceptive, where nothing is as it seems.
The third stanza shifts the focus to the speaker's own state of mind. Yeats writes, "We have gone in thought and verse / Through the countries of the great dead and seen / No lack of vigorous zeal, no lack of the rudest speech." The use of "thought and verse" suggests that the speaker is a poet, and that he has traveled through history and literature in his mind. The mention of "the great dead" adds to the sense of otherworldliness that permeates the poem.
The fourth stanza returns to the theme of madness. Yeats writes, "Through envy of the untroubled mind, / Through malice of the kind and the blind, / Strangers to God and fate alike, / We liars and we lords of strife." The phrase "strangers to God and fate alike" is particularly interesting. It suggests that those who are mad are disconnected from both the spiritual and the natural world. The line "we liars and we lords of strife" is also noteworthy. It suggests that those who are mad are not just passive observers of the chaos around them, but active participants in it.
The fifth stanza continues this theme, with Yeats writing, "By dreams oppressed do we arise, / To bear witness that one did survive / Two brief moments in paradise / Known but of those who hate our kind." The use of the word "oppressed" suggests that the speaker's dreams are not pleasant. However, the idea that they arise "to bear witness" suggests that they have a purpose beyond mere suffering. The phrase "two brief moments in paradise" is particularly intriguing. It suggests that the speaker has experienced a moment of perfection, but that it is only known to those who hate him.
The final stanza brings the poem to a close. Yeats writes, "What matter if our souls survive / The shock and after-fever of events / Here at the verge of hell arrive / All tingling with the zeal to be convinced?" The phrase "what matter if our souls survive" suggests that the speaker is not afraid of death. The mention of "the shock and after-fever of events" suggests that the speaker has experienced trauma, but that it has only made him more determined to seek the truth. The idea that he has arrived "at the verge of hell" adds a sense of urgency to the poem. The final line, "all tingling with the zeal to be convinced," suggests that the speaker is on the brink of a revelation.
"Mad As The Mist And Snow" is a deeply existential poem. It grapples with questions of madness, spirituality, and the nature of reality. The speaker's journey through history and literature, as well as his dreams, suggest that he is searching for some kind of truth or meaning in the chaos of the world around him.
The poem's title, taken from "The Winter's Tale," suggests that the speaker sees himself as a part of a larger tradition of art and literature. However, Yeats doesn't make any direct references to Shakespeare beyond the title. This suggests that the speaker is not content merely to follow in the footsteps of his predecessors, but is searching for something new and original.
The theme of madness is particularly noteworthy. It suggests that the speaker sees the world as fundamentally chaotic and unpredictable. However, the poem also suggests that there is a purpose to this madness. The mention of "two brief moments in paradise" suggests that the speaker has experienced moments of perfection, but that they are fleeting and only known to those who are outsiders.
The final stanza of the poem is particularly powerful. It suggests that the speaker is not afraid of death, but is determined to seek the truth even if it leads him to the "verge of hell." The idea that he is "tingling with the zeal to be convinced" suggests that he is on the brink of a revelation. However, the poem doesn't provide any easy answers. Instead, it leaves the reader with a sense of ambiguity and uncertainty.
"Mad As The Mist And Snow" is a remarkable poem that grapples with some of the most profound questions of existence. Yeats' use of powerful imagery and ambiguous language creates a sense of mystery and urgency that draws the reader in. The poem's themes of madness, spirituality, and the search for truth are timeless and universal, making it a true classic of literature.
Editor 2 Analysis and Explanation
Mad As The Mist And Snow: A Masterpiece of William Butler Yeats
William Butler Yeats, the Irish poet, playwright, and politician, is widely regarded as one of the greatest literary figures of the 20th century. His works are known for their deep symbolism, mysticism, and lyrical beauty. Among his many masterpieces, "Mad As The Mist And Snow" stands out as a shining example of his poetic genius. This poem, written in 1917, is a haunting meditation on the transience of life, the inevitability of death, and the power of love.
The poem begins with a vivid description of a winter landscape, where the mist and snow blend together to create a surreal atmosphere. The speaker compares this scene to the "ghosts of men" who have passed away, leaving behind only their memories. The use of the word "ghosts" here is significant, as it suggests that the speaker is not just referring to physical death, but also to the death of ideas, beliefs, and values that once defined a culture or a society.
The second stanza of the poem introduces the theme of love, which is a recurring motif in Yeats' works. The speaker describes a woman who is "mad as the mist and snow," suggesting that she is unpredictable, wild, and untamed. This woman is contrasted with the "quiet" and "gentle" women who are more conventional and submissive. The speaker seems to be suggesting that true love is not just about finding someone who is compatible with you, but also about embracing the wild and unpredictable aspects of their personality.
The third stanza of the poem is perhaps the most enigmatic and mysterious. The speaker describes a "star" that is "falling" and "dying" in the sky. This image can be interpreted in many ways, but one possible reading is that it represents the fleeting nature of life itself. The star, like a human being, is born, shines brightly for a while, and then fades away into nothingness. The use of the word "dying" here is significant, as it suggests that the speaker sees death not as an end, but as a natural part of the cycle of life.
The fourth stanza of the poem returns to the theme of love, but this time it is presented in a more positive light. The speaker describes a woman who is "mad with love," suggesting that she is passionate, intense, and deeply committed to her partner. This woman is contrasted with the "cold" and "distant" women who are more reserved and detached. The speaker seems to be suggesting that true love is not just about finding someone who is physically attractive, but also about finding someone who is emotionally and spiritually compatible with you.
The fifth and final stanza of the poem is perhaps the most powerful and moving. The speaker describes a man who is "mad with grief" over the loss of his beloved. This man is contrasted with the "cold" and "indifferent" people who are more concerned with their own lives than with the suffering of others. The speaker seems to be suggesting that true love is not just about finding someone who makes you happy, but also about being willing to suffer and sacrifice for the sake of that person.
In conclusion, "Mad As The Mist And Snow" is a masterpiece of William Butler Yeats that explores the themes of love, death, and the transience of life. The poem is notable for its vivid imagery, its lyrical beauty, and its deep symbolism. The speaker seems to be suggesting that true love is not just about finding someone who is physically attractive or emotionally compatible, but also about embracing the wild and unpredictable aspects of their personality, being willing to suffer and sacrifice for the sake of that person, and accepting the inevitability of death as a natural part of the cycle of life. This poem is a testament to Yeats' poetic genius and his ability to capture the essence of the human experience in a few short lines of verse.
Editor Recommended SitesML Platform: Machine Learning Platform on AWS and GCP, comparison and similarities across cloud ml platforms
Neo4j App: Neo4j tutorials for graph app deployment
Deploy Multi Cloud: Multicloud deployment using various cloud tools. How to manage infrastructure across clouds
Data Catalog App - Cloud Data catalog & Best Datacatalog for cloud: Data catalog resources for AWS and GCP
Learn Rust: Learn the rust programming language, course by an Ex-Google engineer
Recommended Similar AnalysisPeace by George Herbert analysis
To M-- by Edgar Allan Poe analysis
Proud Music Of The Storm by Walt Whitman analysis
Words, Wide Night by Carol Ann Duffy analysis
The Power of the Dog by Rudyard Kipling analysis
Phenomenal Woman by Maya Angelou analysis
Friends Beyond by Thomas Hardy analysis
Stopping By Woods On A Snowy Evening by Robert Lee Frost analysis
I felt a funeral in my brain, by Emily Dickinson analysis
O sweet spontaneous... (V) by e.e. cummings analysis