'The Folly Of Being Comforted' by William Butler Yeats
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ONE that is ever kind said yesterday:
"Your well-beloved's hair has threads of grey,
And little shadows come about her eyes;
Time can but make it easier to be wise
Though now it seems impossible, and so
All that you need is patience."
Heart cries, "No,
I have not a crumb of comfort, not a grain.
Time can but make her beauty over again:
Because of that great nobleness of hers
The fire that stirs about her, when she stirs,
Burns but more clearly.O she had not these ways
When all the wild Summer was in her gaze."
Heart! O heart! if she'd but turn her head,
You'd know the folly of being comforted.
Editor 1 Interpretation
The Folly Of Being Comforted: A Deeper Look
Are you familiar with William Butler Yeats' poetry? If not, let me introduce you to one of his most thought-provoking works, "The Folly Of Being Comforted." At first glance, the poem may seem like a simple love poem, but upon closer inspection, it reveals a deeper message about human nature and the dangers of complacency.
Let's explore the poem's structure and language, as well as its themes and symbolism.
Structure and Language
"The Folly Of Being Comforted" is a sonnet, a traditional form of poetry consisting of 14 lines. The poem follows a strict rhyme scheme, with the last word of each line rhyming with the last word of another line. The structure of a sonnet is meant to provide a sense of order and balance to the poem.
Yeats' language is also carefully chosen to create a specific mood and tone. The poem begins with a sense of longing and desire, as the speaker wishes for the return of a lost love. However, as the poem progresses, the tone shifts to one of resignation and acceptance.
Themes and Symbolism
The main theme of the poem is the danger of complacency. The speaker longs for the return of his lost love, but ultimately realizes that the comfort he seeks is a trap. He recognizes that if his love were to return, he would fall back into old patterns and lose the opportunity for growth and change.
The poem's title, "The Folly Of Being Comforted," suggests that seeking comfort can be a foolish pursuit. The word "folly" implies a sense of foolishness or lack of judgment, while "comforted" suggests a desire for security and stability.
The poem also contains several symbols that further reinforce the theme of complacency. The "happy pavement" and "brightly shone" street lamps symbolize the illusion of security and stability that can lead to complacency. The "smiling faces" and "polished carriages" represent the superficiality of societal expectations and the pressure to conform.
So what is Yeats trying to say with this poem? The speaker's realization that seeking comfort can be a trap suggests that growth and change require discomfort and uncertainty. The speaker recognizes that if he were to be comforted, he would fall back into old patterns and lose the opportunity for growth and change.
The poem can also be interpreted as a commentary on societal expectations and the pressure to conform. The "smiling faces" and "polished carriages" represent the superficiality of societal expectations and the pressure to conform. By rejecting these expectations and pursuing his own path, the speaker is able to find meaning and purpose in his life.
In conclusion, "The Folly Of Being Comforted" is a powerful poem that explores the dangers of complacency and the importance of growth and change. It is a reminder that seeking comfort can be a trap, and that true fulfillment comes from embracing discomfort and uncertainty. Yeats' use of structure, language, and symbolism creates a powerful and thought-provoking message that is still relevant today.
Editor 2 Analysis and Explanation
The Folly of Being Comforted: An Analysis of William Butler Yeats’ Classic Poetry
William Butler Yeats, one of the most celebrated poets of the 20th century, wrote a poem titled “The Folly of Being Comforted” that explores the theme of love and loss. This poem is a prime example of Yeats’ ability to use language to convey complex emotions and ideas. In this analysis, we will delve into the meaning and significance of this classic piece of poetry.
The poem begins with the speaker expressing his desire to be comforted by his lover. He longs for her to hold him and ease his pain. However, he quickly realizes that this desire is foolish. He understands that seeking comfort will only lead to disappointment and further heartache. The speaker says, “There’s none but Mammon’s praise / Can win me to her heart.” This line suggests that the speaker believes that his lover is only interested in material possessions and that he cannot win her heart with his love alone.
The second stanza of the poem further emphasizes the speaker’s sense of loss and despair. He says, “I’ll love no more, / Till the God of love sees fit / To give his lovers back what they have lost.” This line suggests that the speaker has lost someone he loves and that he will not love again until he is reunited with that person. The use of the phrase “God of love” suggests that the speaker believes that love is a divine force that can bring people together.
The third stanza of the poem is perhaps the most powerful. The speaker says, “Then let her go and be her friend. / She may be better off than I / At least she has not brought me to / That fine despair.” This line suggests that the speaker has come to terms with the fact that his lover may never return to him. He is willing to let her go and be happy, even if it means that he will be alone and in despair. The use of the phrase “fine despair” suggests that the speaker has reached a level of emotional pain that is almost beautiful in its intensity.
The final stanza of the poem brings the theme of love and loss full circle. The speaker says, “But I, being poor, have only my dreams; / I have spread my dreams under your feet; / Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.” This line suggests that the speaker has given his lover everything he has, including his dreams. He is asking her to be gentle with his heart because it is fragile and vulnerable.
Overall, “The Folly of Being Comforted” is a powerful poem that explores the theme of love and loss. The speaker’s sense of despair and longing is palpable throughout the poem, and the use of language is masterful. Yeats’ ability to convey complex emotions and ideas through poetry is what makes him one of the greatest poets of all time.
In conclusion, “The Folly of Being Comforted” is a classic piece of poetry that continues to resonate with readers today. Its themes of love and loss are universal, and its language is both beautiful and haunting. Yeats’ ability to capture the essence of human emotion through poetry is what makes him a true master of the craft.
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