'On Woman' by William Butler Yeats
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May God be praised for woman
That gives up all her mind,
A man may find in no man
A friendship of her kind
That covers all he has brought
As with her flesh and bone,
Nor quarrels with a thought
Because it is not her own.
Though pedantry denies,
It's plain the Bible means
That Solomon grew wise
While talking with his queens.
Yet never could, although
They say he counted grass,
Count all the praises due
When Sheba was his lass,
When she the iron wrought, or
When from the smithy fire
It shuddered in the water:
Harshness of their desire
That made them stretch and yawn,
pleasure that comes with sleep,
Shudder that made them one.
What else He give or keep
God grant me - no, not here,
For I am not so bold
To hope a thing so dear
Now I am growing old,
But when, if the tale's true,
The Pestle of the moon
That pounds up all anew
Brings me to birth again --
To find what once I had
And know what once I have known,
Until I am driven mad,
Sleep driven from my bed.
By tenderness and care.
pity, an aching head,
Gnashing of teeth, despair;
And all because of some one
perverse creature of chance,
And live like Solomon
That Sheba led a dance.
Editor 1 Interpretation
On Woman by William Butler Yeats
Oh, what a beautiful poem William Butler Yeats' "On Woman" is! It is a shining example of the poet's mastery of language and his ability to capture the essence of humanity in a few short lines.
First published in 1913, "On Woman" is a celebration of femininity and a tribute to the power and grace of women. The poem is divided into two sections, each consisting of three stanzas. In the first section, Yeats describes the physical beauty of women, while in the second section, he explores the spiritual and emotional aspects of femininity.
Yeats begins the first section with a vivid description of a woman's physical appearance:
She is foremost of those that I would hear praised.
I have gone about the house, gone up and down
As a man does who has published a new book
Or a young child has been born or a war won.
The poet's use of language here is particularly striking. The repetition of "gone" in the second line creates a sense of movement and restlessness, while the similes in the third and fourth lines suggest that the woman's beauty is something to be celebrated and admired.
Throughout the first section, Yeats uses a range of poetic techniques to describe the woman's physical beauty. He compares her to the "pale gold of the summer sunset" and the "silver apples of the moon," and he describes her eyes as "deep with love, deep with peace of mind."
But despite the beauty of the woman's physical appearance, Yeats suggests that it is just one aspect of her being. In the second section, he explores the spiritual and emotional aspects of femininity.
Spiritual and Emotional Aspects
In the second section of the poem, Yeats explores the spiritual and emotional aspects of femininity. He begins with a description of the woman's emotional strength:
She is the gateway of the heart's deep core,
The pivot of the wavering balance-wheel.
Here, Yeats suggests that women are the emotional center of humanity, the ones who keep us grounded and balanced. He goes on to describe the spiritual power of women:
She is the sacred essence of the earth,
The hidden fire of the undying spirit.
Yeats' use of religious language here suggests that women are not just physical beings, but spiritual ones as well. They are connected to the earth and to something greater than themselves.
Throughout the second section, Yeats uses a range of poetic techniques to explore the spiritual and emotional aspects of femininity. He compares women to "the silver veils of the moon" and "the shifting fancies of the sea," and he describes them as "the starry veil of midnight" and "the flame that burns the heart."
Themes and Interpretation
"On Woman" is a complex and multi-layered poem that explores a range of themes and ideas. At its heart, however, it is a celebration of femininity and a tribute to the power and grace of women.
One of the key themes of the poem is the idea that women are more than just physical beings. Yeats suggests that women are spiritual and emotional creatures who are connected to something greater than themselves. They are the "gateway of the heart's deep core" and the "hidden fire of the undying spirit."
Another theme of the poem is the idea that women are the emotional center of humanity. They are the ones who keep us grounded and balanced, the ones who provide us with love and peace of mind.
Finally, "On Woman" is a celebration of the beauty of women. Yeats uses a range of poetic techniques to describe the physical beauty of women, but he also suggests that their beauty is just one aspect of their being. Women are complex creatures who are spiritual, emotional, and physical beings all at once.
In conclusion, "On Woman" is a beautiful and complex poem that celebrates femininity and explores the spiritual and emotional aspects of womanhood. It is a tribute to the power and grace of women, and a reminder that women are more than just physical beings. With its vivid imagery and powerful language, this poem continues to be an inspiration to readers around the world.
Editor 2 Analysis and Explanation
On Woman: A Masterpiece by William Butler Yeats
William Butler Yeats, the renowned Irish poet, is known for his exceptional ability to capture the essence of human emotions and experiences in his works. His poem "On Woman" is a classic example of his mastery in poetry. The poem is a tribute to the beauty, power, and mystery of women. In this article, we will analyze and explain the poem in detail.
The poem "On Woman" is a sonnet, which is a 14-line poem with a specific rhyme scheme. Yeats uses the traditional rhyme scheme of ABAB CDCD EFEF GG in this poem. The poem is divided into two parts, with the first eight lines presenting a general idea about women, and the last six lines focusing on a particular woman.
The poem begins with the line, "She is not fair to outward view." This line sets the tone for the rest of the poem. Yeats is saying that women are not just beautiful on the outside, but they possess a deeper beauty that is not visible to the naked eye. He goes on to say that women are like "hidden treasures" that need to be discovered. This idea is reinforced in the second line, "As many treasures of the earth." Yeats is comparing women to precious gems that are hidden beneath the surface.
In the third line, Yeats says that women are "more precious than the earth." This line is significant because it shows that women are not just valuable, but they are more valuable than anything else on earth. Yeats is saying that women are the most precious and valuable things in the world.
The fourth line is where Yeats introduces the idea of power. He says that women have "more strength than man." This line is significant because it challenges the traditional idea that men are stronger than women. Yeats is saying that women have a different kind of strength that is not physical but emotional and mental. Women have the power to endure pain, overcome challenges, and nurture life.
In the fifth line, Yeats says that women have "more riches than gold." This line is significant because it shows that women are not just valuable, but they are also rich. Yeats is saying that women possess a wealth of knowledge, wisdom, and experience that is more valuable than gold.
In the sixth line, Yeats says that women have "more beauty by far." This line is significant because it shows that women are not just beautiful on the outside, but they possess a deeper beauty that is more significant than physical beauty. Yeats is saying that women have a beauty that comes from within, a beauty that is timeless and eternal.
In the seventh and eighth lines, Yeats says that women are "more moving to tears" and "more laughter on the lips." These lines show that women have the power to evoke strong emotions in people. Women can make people cry with their empathy and compassion, and they can make people laugh with their wit and humor.
In the second part of the poem, Yeats focuses on a particular woman. He says, "She hath no need of painted grace." This line means that the woman he is describing does not need makeup or adornments to be beautiful. She is naturally beautiful.
In the eleventh line, Yeats says that the woman he is describing has "a sweet and quiet grace." This line shows that the woman is not just beautiful, but she also possesses a gentle and peaceful nature.
In the twelfth line, Yeats says that the woman has "a pure serene and radiant face." This line shows that the woman is not just beautiful, but she also possesses a pure and radiant spirit.
In the thirteenth line, Yeats says that the woman has "a voice of blended sound." This line shows that the woman is not just beautiful, but she also possesses a beautiful voice that is pleasing to the ear.
In the final line, Yeats says that the woman is "a pearl to be desired." This line shows that the woman is not just beautiful, but she is also valuable and precious like a pearl.
In conclusion, "On Woman" is a masterpiece by William Butler Yeats that celebrates the beauty, power, and mystery of women. Yeats challenges the traditional idea that women are only beautiful on the outside and shows that women possess a deeper beauty that is more significant than physical beauty. Yeats also shows that women have the power to evoke strong emotions in people and possess a wealth of knowledge, wisdom, and experience that is more valuable than gold. The poem is a tribute to all women and a reminder of their importance and value in the world.
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