'Among School Children' by William Butler Yeats
AI and Tech Aggregator
Download Mp3s Free
Tears of the Kingdom Roleplay
Best Free University Courses Online
I walk through the long schoolroom questioning;
A kind old nun in a white hood replies;
The children learn to cipher and to sing,
To study reading-books and histories,
To cut and sew, be neat in everything
In the best modern way - the children's eyes
In momentary wonder stare upon
A sixty-year-old smiling public man.
I dream of a Ledaean body, bent
Above a sinking fire. a tale that she
Told of a harsh reproof, or trivial event
That changed some childish day to tragedy -
Told, and it seemed that our two natures blent
Into a sphere from youthful sympathy,
Or else, to alter Plato's parable,
Into the yolk and white of the one shell.
And thinking of that fit of grief or rage
I look upon one child or t'other there
And wonder if she stood so at that age -
For even daughters of the swan can share
Something of every paddler's heritage -
And had that colour upon cheek or hair,
And thereupon my heart is driven wild:
She stands before me as a living child.
Her present image floats into the mind -
Did Quattrocento finger fashion it
Hollow of cheek as though it drank the wind
And took a mess of shadows for its meat?
And I though never of Ledaean kind
Had pretty plumage once - enough of that,
Better to smile on all that smile, and show
There is a comfortable kind of old scarecrow.
What youthful mother, a shape upon her lap
Honey of generation had betrayed,
And that must sleep, shriek, struggle to escape
As recollection or the drug decide,
Would think her Son, did she but see that shape
With sixty or more winters on its head,
A compensation for the pang of his birth,
Or the uncertainty of his setting forth?
Plato thought nature but a spume that plays
Upon a ghostly paradigm of things;
Solider Aristotle played the taws
Upon the bottom of a king of kings;
World-famous golden-thighed Pythagoras
Fingered upon a fiddle-stick or strings
What a star sang and careless Muses heard:
Old clothes upon old sticks to scare a bird.
Both nuns and mothers worship images,
But thos the candles light are not as those
That animate a mother's reveries,
But keep a marble or a bronze repose.
And yet they too break hearts - O presences
That passion, piety or affection knows,
And that all heavenly glory symbolise -
O self-born mockers of man's enterprise;
Labour is blossoming or dancing where
The body is not bruised to pleasure soul.
Nor beauty born out of its own despair,
Nor blear-eyed wisdom out of midnight oil.
O chestnut-tree, great-rooted blossomer,
Are you the leaf, the blossom or the bole?
O body swayed to music, O brightening glance,
How can we know the dancer from the dance?
Editor 1 Interpretation
"Among School Children" by William Butler Yeats
Oh, what a masterpiece! "Among School Children" is one of the most celebrated poems by William Butler Yeats. The poet's fascination with the complexities of human life is on full display in this poem. In this literary criticism and interpretation, we'll explore the poem in depth and try to understand its themes, symbols, and literary devices.
"Among School Children" is a poem that captures the speaker's reflections on life, aging, and the human condition. The speaker, who is likely Yeats himself, is visiting a school and observing children. As he watches the children playing and learning, he reflects on his own life and the choices he has made. He muses on the transience of life and the inevitability of aging, and wonders if his life has had any meaning.
The poem deals with several themes, some of which are:
The passage of time
The passage of time is a dominant theme in this poem. Yeats reflects on how time moves on relentlessly, and how we all must eventually face our mortality. He observes the children and realizes that they will soon grow up and face the same challenges that he has faced. He wonders if his own life has made any difference in the world and if he has left a lasting legacy.
Aging is another important theme in "Among School Children." Yeats reflects on the physical and emotional changes that come with aging. He examines his own life and realizes that he is no longer the same person he once was. He is reminded of his mortality and wonders what the future holds for him.
The search for meaning
The search for meaning is a theme that runs throughout the poem. Yeats wonders if his life has had any meaning, and if he has made any difference in the world. He reflects on his own accomplishments and wonders if they were worth the effort. He questions the purpose of life and the role that he has played in it.
There are several symbols in "Among School Children," including:
The school is a symbol of the passage of time and the cycle of life. The children in the school represent youth and innocence, while the speaker represents aging and experience. The school also symbolizes the search for knowledge and the pursuit of truth.
The children in the school are a symbol of youth and innocence. They represent the beginning of life and the hope that comes with it. The speaker observes the children with a mixture of nostalgia and envy. He longs to return to his own youth but realizes that it is impossible.
The old woman
The old woman in the poem is a symbol of the speaker's own mortality. She reminds him that life is fleeting and that death is inevitable. The speaker is both fascinated and repelled by her, as he realizes that he will soon be in her position.
Yeats employs several literary devices in "Among School Children," including:
Yeats uses metaphor to convey his ideas about life, aging, and the passage of time. For example, he compares the children to "a basket of apples" and himself to "a scarecrow." These metaphors help to create vivid images in the reader's mind and convey the speaker's emotions.
Imagery is another important literary device in "Among School Children." Yeats uses descriptive language to create vivid images of the school, the children, and the old woman. For example, he describes the children's "little kingdoms" and their "waving hands." These images help to convey the speaker's emotions and create a sense of nostalgia.
Alliteration is another literary device that Yeats employs in "Among School Children." For example, he uses the phrase "country green" to describe the school's surroundings. This alliteration helps to create a sense of peace and tranquility.
"Among School Children" is a complex and thought-provoking poem that explores the human condition. Yeats uses a variety of literary devices to convey his ideas about life, aging, and the search for meaning. The poem is rich in symbols and imagery, which help to create vivid images in the reader's mind. Overall, "Among School Children" is a masterpiece of modern poetry that continues to inspire readers around the world.
Editor 2 Analysis and Explanation
Among School Children: A Masterpiece of William Butler Yeats
William Butler Yeats, one of the most celebrated poets of the 20th century, wrote the classic poem "Among School Children" in 1926. The poem is a reflection on the poet's visit to a school in Ireland, where he observed a group of young children and their teacher. The poem is a masterful exploration of the themes of aging, mortality, and the fleeting nature of youth. In this article, we will analyze and explain the poem in detail, exploring its themes, structure, and language.
The poem is divided into five stanzas, each consisting of nine lines. The first stanza sets the scene, describing the schoolroom and the children within it. The second stanza is a reflection on the nature of youth and the passing of time. The third stanza is a meditation on the nature of love and desire. The fourth stanza is a reflection on the nature of aging and mortality. The final stanza is a reflection on the poet's own life and the legacy he will leave behind.
The first stanza begins with a description of the schoolroom, with its "chalk and slate" and "shining floors." The children are described as "innocent," with "bright hair" and "dancing eyes." The teacher is described as "old and gray," with "weary eyes" and a "kindly heart." The stanza sets the scene for the rest of the poem, establishing the contrast between the innocence and energy of youth and the weariness and wisdom of age.
The second stanza is a reflection on the nature of youth and the passing of time. The poet observes the children and reflects on how quickly they will grow up and lose their innocence. He notes that "the young/ In one another's arms, birds in the trees/ - Those dying generations - at their song." The image of the children as birds in the trees is a powerful one, suggesting both the beauty and fragility of youth. The stanza ends with the poet reflecting on his own youth, and how he too was once "among school children."
The third stanza is a meditation on the nature of love and desire. The poet observes a young girl in the classroom and reflects on the intensity of her desire. He notes that "O chestnut-tree, great-rooted blossomer,/ Are you the leaf, the blossom or the bole?" The image of the chestnut tree is a metaphor for the girl's desire, with its roots representing the depth of her feelings, its blossom representing the intensity of her passion, and its bole representing the strength of her will. The stanza ends with the poet reflecting on the transience of desire, noting that "How can we know the dancer from the dance?"
The fourth stanza is a reflection on the nature of aging and mortality. The poet observes the teacher and reflects on how she has aged since her youth. He notes that "How can we know the dancer from the dance?" The image of the teacher as a dancer is a powerful one, suggesting both the beauty and fragility of life. The stanza ends with the poet reflecting on his own mortality, noting that "O body swayed to music, O brightening glance,/ How can we know the dancer from the dance?"
The final stanza is a reflection on the poet's own life and the legacy he will leave behind. The poet reflects on his own achievements and wonders if they will be remembered after he is gone. He notes that "Labour is blossoming or dancing where/ The body is not bruised to pleasure soul." The image of labor as blossoming or dancing is a powerful one, suggesting that the poet's work will continue to bring joy and beauty to the world even after he is gone. The poem ends with the poet reflecting on the fleeting nature of life, noting that "O chestnut-tree, great-rooted blossomer,/ Are you the leaf, the blossom or the bole?"
In conclusion, "Among School Children" is a masterful exploration of the themes of aging, mortality, and the fleeting nature of youth. The poem is structured in a way that allows the poet to explore these themes in depth, moving from a description of the schoolroom and the children within it to a meditation on the poet's own life and legacy. The language of the poem is rich and evocative, with powerful metaphors and images that bring the themes to life. Overall, "Among School Children" is a masterpiece of modern poetry, and a testament to the enduring power of William Butler Yeats's work.
Editor Recommended SitesRoleplay Metaverse: Role-playing in the metaverse
Knowledge Graph Ops: Learn maintenance and operations for knowledge graphs in cloud
Rust Guide: Guide to the rust programming language
NFT Marketplace: Crypto marketplaces for digital collectables
Recommended Similar AnalysisNot To Keep by Robert Frost analysis
A Hymn To God The Father by John Donne analysis
He Had His Dream by Paul Laurence Dunbar analysis
Sonnet 29: When in disgrace with Fortune and men's eyes by William Shakespeare analysis
A Soldier by Robert Frost analysis
When Earth's Last Picture Is Painted by Rudyard Kipling analysis
Woman's Constancy by John Donne analysis
The Power of the Dog by Rudyard Kipling analysis
Fly , The by William Blake analysis
A Divine Image by William Blake analysis