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Questions tagged [william-butler-yeats]

For questions about the works of William Butler Yeats and his life as a writer.

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1answer
58 views

What does “ceremony of innocence” mean In “The Second Coming”?

The Second Coming by W.B. Yeats: Turning and turning in the widening gyre The falcon cannot hear the falconer; Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold; Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,...
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4answers
2k views

Who is the falcon, and who the falconer?

In Yeats' greatest of poems, he writes that "the falcon cannot hear the falconer." Who is the falcon and who is the falconer? Why might Yeats have chosen this metaphor? The Second Coming ...
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1answer
74 views

When did Yeats enter into “Virgil's territory”?

In the definition of "divagate," several dictionaries, like this one, give the following example sentence: Yeats divagated into Virgil's territory only once. What instance of Yeats' writing does ...
6
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1answer
243 views

What does “pull down the blinds” mean in Yeats's poem “The Mountain Tomb”?

Pour wine and dance, if manhood still have pride, Bring roses, if the rose be yet in bloom; The cataract smokes on the mountain side. Our Father Rosicross is in his tomb. Pull down ...
3
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1answer
154 views

Why could Cú Chulainn not recognise his own son?

I was reading WB Yeats play On Baile's Strand in which the protagonist Cú Chulainn kills a young man whom he later recognizes as his son. How did he not recognize him earlier? Fintain, a character in ...
11
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1answer
256 views

What does “kettle at the heel” mean in this Yeats poem, “The Tower”?

What shall I do with this absurdity — O heart, O troubled heart — this caricature, Decrepit age that has been tied to me As to a dog's tail? Never had I more Excited, passionate, ...
14
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5answers
6k views

What rough beast slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?

Turning and turning in the widening gyreThe falcon cannot hear the falconer; Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold; Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world, The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and ...
9
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1answer
472 views

How much of The Song of Wandering Aengus by Yeats is based on Irish folklore?

Yeats was a keen student of Irish folklore and it is clear that the titular character in his poem The Song of Wandering Aengus is based on the pre-Christian Celtic god of love, youth and poetry. ...
15
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1answer
573 views

How does the golden bough in “Sailing to Byzantium” relate to the story in the Aeneid, if at all?

According to Wikipedia of W.B. Yeats' "Sailing to Byzantium" is a metaphor for a spiritual journey. Yeats explores his thoughts and musings on how immortality, art, and the human spirit may ...