'Lines Written In Dejection' by William Butler Yeats
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WHEN have I last looked on
The round green eyes and the long wavering bodies
Of the dark leopards of the moon?
All the wild witches, those most noble ladies,
For all their broom-sticks and their tears,
Their angry tears, are gone.
The holy centaurs of the hills are vanished;
I have nothing but the embittered sun;
Banished heroic mother moon and vanished,
And now that I have come to fifty years
I must endure the timid sun.
Editor 1 Interpretation
Lines Written In Dejection by William Butler Yeats
Lines Written In Dejection is a classic poem written by the renowned poet William Butler Yeats. The poem is a personal and emotional reflection of the poet's state of mind at the time of writing. Yeats employs various literary devices to convey his thoughts and feelings, and the poem is a masterful example of his craft.
The poem is divided into three stanzas, each with four lines. The first stanza begins with the lines:
Many ingenious lovely things are gone That seemed sheer miracle to the multitude, Protected from the circle of the moon That pitches common things about.
In these lines, Yeats laments the loss of the "ingenious lovely things" that he once witnessed. These things were "miracles" to the masses but are now gone. The phrase "protected from the circle of the moon" suggests that these things were once shielded from the harshness of reality but are now exposed to it. The final line, "That pitches common things about," is a powerful image of the way in which the mundane and ordinary can overwhelm and obscure the beautiful and extraordinary.
The second stanza begins with these lines:
Amid the ornamental bronze and stone, The sweet confusion of the citherns, hurries The fierce enamoured heart; and when gone by, Throws off the proud dreamer among the legends.
Here, Yeats describes the beauty and allure of art and music. The "ornamental bronze and stone" refers to sculptures and other works of art, while the "sweet confusion of the citherns" suggests the enchanting sound of music. The phrase "fierce enamoured heart" conveys the intense passion that these things can evoke. However, Yeats acknowledges that these things are fleeting and ultimately leave the dreamer feeling empty and disconnected from reality.
The third and final stanza begins with these lines:
Many lover's eyelids bow'd beneath my hand, Many a maiden shudder'd at my command: I have sat lonely here many a day, Watching the spectral colours die away.
In this stanza, Yeats reflects on his past romantic conquests and the power he once held over others. However, he is now alone and watching the world fade away. The final line, "Watching the spectral colours die away," is a haunting image of the passing of time and the inevitable decline of all things.
Lines Written In Dejection is a deeply personal poem that reflects Yeats' own struggles with depression and his disillusionment with the world around him. The loss of the "ingenious lovely things" that he once witnessed can be seen as a metaphor for his own loss of innocence and idealism. The beauty and allure of art and music, while still present, no longer have the power to sustain him or provide him with the solace he seeks.
The third stanza is particularly poignant as Yeats reflects on his own past and the transience of love and passion. The final line, "Watching the spectral colours die away," can be interpreted as a metaphor for the passing of time and the inevitability of death. Yeats was acutely aware of his own mortality and saw the world around him as a fleeting and temporary thing.
In conclusion, Lines Written In Dejection is a powerful and emotional poem that reflects Yeats' own struggles with depression and disillusionment. The poem is a masterful example of his craft and employs various literary devices to convey his thoughts and feelings. The loss of innocence, the transience of beauty and passion, and the passing of time are all themes that Yeats explores in this poem. While the poem is deeply personal, its themes are universal and continue to resonate with readers today.
Editor 2 Analysis and Explanation
Lines Written In Dejection is a classic poem written by William Butler Yeats, one of the most celebrated poets of the 20th century. This poem is a reflection of Yeats' personal struggles with love, loss, and the passage of time. In this 2000-word analysis, we will explore the themes, structure, and literary devices used in this poem.
The poem begins with the speaker expressing his feelings of dejection and despair. He feels that he has lost everything that was once dear to him, including his youth, his love, and his dreams. The opening lines of the poem set the tone for the rest of the poem, which is filled with a sense of melancholy and sadness. The speaker says:
"Many a time and oft Have I sighed for the days that are no more; Ah, well-a-day! for us poor folk, They are buried deep with the years before."
These lines convey a sense of nostalgia and longing for the past. The speaker is lamenting the loss of his youth and the memories that are now buried deep in the past. He is also expressing his sense of helplessness and resignation, as he feels that there is nothing he can do to bring back the days that are gone.
The poem then moves on to explore the theme of love and loss. The speaker talks about his lost love, who is now dead and buried. He says:
"The dead are dancing with the dead, the dust is whirling with the dust."
These lines convey a sense of finality and resignation. The speaker has accepted the fact that his love is gone forever, and there is nothing he can do to bring her back. He is also expressing his sense of loneliness and isolation, as he feels that he is now alone in the world without his love.
The poem then moves on to explore the theme of time and its passage. The speaker talks about how time has passed him by, and how he has grown old and weary. He says:
"Yet I would that I could recall The time when the earth was fair and young, The sky was blue, and the morn was glad, And the night was full of song."
These lines convey a sense of regret and longing for the past. The speaker wishes that he could go back in time and relive the days when he was young and full of hope. He is also expressing his sense of disillusionment with the present, as he feels that the world has lost its beauty and wonder.
The poem then moves on to explore the theme of death and the afterlife. The speaker talks about how death is a natural part of life, and how we must all eventually face our own mortality. He says:
"But life, though less than what is kind, Is good, for it is all we find. And death, though less than what is kind, Is good, for it is all we leave behind."
These lines convey a sense of acceptance and resignation. The speaker has come to terms with the fact that death is inevitable, and that we must all eventually face it. He is also expressing his sense of hope, as he believes that there is something beyond death, something that we leave behind when we die.
The structure of the poem is simple and straightforward. It consists of four stanzas, each with four lines. The rhyme scheme is ABAB, which gives the poem a sense of rhythm and musicality. The language used in the poem is simple and direct, which makes it easy to understand and appreciate.
The poem also makes use of several literary devices, including imagery, metaphor, and personification. The use of imagery helps to create a vivid picture in the reader's mind, while the use of metaphor and personification helps to convey complex ideas and emotions in a simple and accessible way.
In conclusion, Lines Written In Dejection is a classic poem that explores the themes of love, loss, time, and death. It is a reflection of Yeats' personal struggles with these themes, and it conveys a sense of melancholy and sadness that is both powerful and moving. The poem's simple structure and language make it easy to understand and appreciate, while its use of literary devices helps to convey complex ideas and emotions in a simple and accessible way. Overall, this is a poem that is well worth reading and studying, and it is a testament to Yeats' skill as a poet.
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