'In Memory Of Alfred Pollexfen' by William Butler Yeats
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FIVE-AND-TWENTY years have gone
Since old William pollexfen
Laid his strong bones down in death
By his wife Elizabeth
In the grey stone tomb he made.
And after twenty years they laid
In that tomb by him and her
His son George, the astrologer;
And Masons drove from miles away
To scatter the Acacia spray
Upon a melancholy man
Who had ended where his breath began.
Many a son and daughter lies
Far from the customary skies,
The Mall and Eades's grammar school,
In London or in Liverpool;
But where is laid the sailor John
That so many lands had known,
Quiet lands or unquiet seas
Where the Indians trade or Japanese?
He never found his rest ashore,
Moping for one voyage more.
Where have they laid the sailor John?
And yesterday the youngest son,
A humorous, unambitious man,
Was buried near the astrologer,
Yesterday in the tenth year
Since he who had been contented long.
A nobody in a great throng,
Decided he would journey home,
Now that his fiftieth year had come,
And "Mr.Alfred' be again
Upon the lips of common men
Who carried in their memory
His childhood and his family.
At all these death-beds women heard
A visionary white sea-bird
Lamenting that a man should die;
And with that cry I have raised my cry.
Editor 1 Interpretation
Poetry, In Memory Of Alfred Pollexfen by W.B. Yeats
William Butler Yeats is considered one of the most important poets in Irish literature. He was born in Dublin in 1865 and died in France in 1939. Yeats was a key figure in the Irish literary revival and a founder of the Abbey Theatre in Dublin. His poetry is marked by a rich and complex symbolism, a deep engagement with Irish history and mythology, and a profound sense of spirituality. One of his most striking poems is 'Poetry, In Memory Of Alfred Pollexfen.'
'Poetry, In Memory Of Alfred Pollexfen' was written in 1912, and it reflects the deepening interest in mysticism and spirituality that Yeats was experiencing at the time. The poem is dedicated to Alfred Pollexfen, a young poet and playwright who was a member of Yeats's circle of friends. Pollexfen died in 1899 at the age of twenty-three, and Yeats wrote this poem as a tribute to his memory.
The poem is divided into four stanzas, each of six lines. The first stanza sets the tone for the poem and introduces the central theme of the relationship between the poet and the world. Yeats suggests that the poet is an outsider who is able to see the world in a different way from other people. The poet is both an observer and a participant in the world, able to engage with it on a deeper level than most people.
The second stanza introduces the idea of the poet as a visionary. The poet is able to see beyond the surface of things and to perceive the deeper reality that lies beneath. The poet is able to see the connections between seemingly unrelated things and to create new meanings from them.
The third stanza explores the idea of the poet as a magician. The poet has the power to transform the world through the creative act of writing poetry. The poet can bring new life to old traditions and create new visions of the world. The poet is able to create a new reality through the power of imagination.
The fourth and final stanza concludes the poem with a reflection on the relationship between life and death. Yeats suggests that death is not an end but a new beginning. The poet is able to transcend death through the power of his poetry, and to create a new reality that is beyond the limitations of the physical world.
'Poetry, In Memory Of Alfred Pollexfen' is a deeply personal and moving poem that reflects Yeats's own spiritual journey. The poem explores the idea of the poet as a visionary and a magician, able to see beyond the surface of things and to create new realities through the power of imagination. The poem is a tribute to the power of poetry to transcend the limitations of the physical world and to create a new reality that is both beautiful and profound.
The poem is also a reflection on the nature of life and death. Yeats suggests that death is not an end but a new beginning, and that the poet is able to transcend death through the power of his poetry. The poem is a celebration of the spiritual dimension of life and a tribute to the power of the human imagination to transform the world.
'Poetry, In Memory Of Alfred Pollexfen' is a powerful and moving poem that reflects Yeats's own spiritual journey and his deep engagement with Irish history and mythology. The poem explores the idea of the poet as a visionary and a magician, able to see beyond the surface of things and to create new realities through the power of imagination. The poem is also a reflection on the nature of life and death, and a celebration of the spiritual dimension of life. Overall, 'Poetry, In Memory Of Alfred Pollexfen' is a masterpiece of Irish poetry and a testament to the enduring power of the human imagination.
Editor 2 Analysis and Explanation
Poetry In Memory Of Alfred Pollexfen: A Masterpiece by William Butler Yeats
William Butler Yeats, the renowned Irish poet, is known for his profound and thought-provoking works that have stood the test of time. One such masterpiece is his poem, "Poetry In Memory Of Alfred Pollexfen," which was written in 1933. This poem is a tribute to Yeats' friend, Alfred Pollexfen, who was a fellow poet and a member of the Irish Literary Revival movement.
The poem is a reflection on the power of poetry and its ability to transcend time and space. Yeats begins by describing the "lonely" and "desolate" landscape that surrounds him, which serves as a metaphor for the emptiness he feels after the loss of his friend. He then goes on to describe how poetry can fill this void and bring comfort to those who are grieving.
Yeats uses vivid imagery throughout the poem to convey his message. For example, he describes the "tall trees" that "whisper together" in the wind, creating a sense of melancholy and sadness. This imagery is contrasted with the "bright" and "shining" stars that twinkle in the sky, representing the hope and comfort that poetry can bring.
The poem is structured in three stanzas, each with a distinct theme. The first stanza focuses on the power of poetry to bring comfort and solace to those who are grieving. Yeats writes, "Nor law, nor duty bade me fight, / Nor public men, nor cheering crowds, / A lonely impulse of delight / Drove to this tumult in the clouds." This stanza highlights the personal nature of poetry and how it can be a source of comfort for individuals in times of grief.
The second stanza shifts the focus to the power of poetry to transcend time and space. Yeats writes, "We, who seven years ago / Talked of honour and of truth, / Shriek with pleasure if we show / The weasel's twist, the weasel's tooth." This stanza highlights the universality of poetry and how it can connect people across generations and cultures.
The final stanza brings the poem full circle, returning to the theme of grief and loss. Yeats writes, "Hearts with one purpose alone / Through summer and winter seem / Enchanted to a stone / To trouble the living stream." This stanza emphasizes the enduring nature of grief and how it can be a source of inspiration for poets.
Overall, "Poetry In Memory Of Alfred Pollexfen" is a powerful and moving tribute to the power of poetry. Yeats' use of vivid imagery and personal reflection creates a sense of intimacy and connection with the reader. The poem is a testament to the enduring nature of art and its ability to bring comfort and solace to those who are grieving.
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