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Sailing to Byzantium by W.B. Yeats

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Billy Scholten

on 4 January 2013

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Transcript of Sailing to Byzantium by W.B. Yeats

Sailing to Byzantium
by W.B. Yeats That is no country for old men. The young
In one another's arms, birds in the trees
—Those dying generations—at their song,
The salmon-falls, the mackerel-crowded seas,
Fish, flesh, or fowl, commend all summer long
Whatever is begotten, born, and dies.
Caught in that sensual music all neglect
Monuments of unageing intellect.

An aged man is but a paltry thing,
A tattered coat upon a stick, unless
Soul clap its hands and sing, and louder sing
For every tatter in its mortal dress,
Nor is there singing school but studying
Monuments of its own magnificence;
And therefore I have sailed the seas and come
To the holy city of Byzantium.

O sages standing in God's holy fire
As in the gold mosaic of a wall,
Come from the holy fire, perne in a gyre,
And be the singing-masters of my soul.
Consume my heart away; sick with desire
And fastened to a dying animal
It knows not what it is; and gather me
Into the artifice of eternity.

Once out of nature I shall never take
My bodily form from any natural thing,
But such a form as Grecian goldsmiths make
Of hammered gold and gold enamelling
To keep a drowsy Emperor awake;
Or set upon a golden bough to sing
To lords and ladies of Byzantium
Of what is past, or passing, or to come. Transcendental or Romanticism? Its Transcendental! Why? Yeats refers to in the poem that youth is
better than the old people, and that
knowledge is only a monument of the
elderly. These principles of youth
supremacy and that knowledge never
ages are all transcendental. Literal Meaning The city is not meant for old people,
it is for the young and the old are neglected.
They are monuments of what life used to be. Figurative Meaning Figurative Examples Because the man is old and cannot learn a new song, he has come to Byzantium. He wants the sages there to teach him a new song, a song to take his soul out of his body and into eternity. Wants to be reborn as an inanimate object, like something that is made from Grecian goldsmiths that will keep emperors awake. He also wants to be attached to a golden bough and sing about the past, present, and future to the ladies and lords of Byzantium. Its the same as the literal meaning! Old are neglected and viewed as monuments of knowledge, and the city is for the young. Basically, in society, the young look at the old as if all they are good for is telling us about the past, and that knowledge will never age. Rhyme Scheme Rhyme scheme varies until the end, where the
last two verses in each stanza rhyme. He does this to wrap up the current thought of the stanza and gets the reader ready for the next stanza. Imagery h Yeats uses imagery to give the reader an image in their head about what they are reading about. Also, Yeats uses details to paint these details and these pictures helps keep the reader reading the poem. Tone "Whatever is begotten, born, and dies." Yeats uses the tone to make the reader feel the sadness of the poem. He does this by saying that being old is horrible and as you age, you lose everything of your youth. Theme One of the themes of the poem is that becoming old is not that fun. The old lose all the romantic things that the young take action in. Also, for a solution for the trauma of death, he points out of possible rebirth as part of the cycle of life. About Yeats... Yeats was born in Dublin in 1865. With Lady Gregory, Yeats founded the Irish Theatre, which later became the Abbey Theatre. Yeats was a "ladies man," particularly with younger women. After his proposal got rejected several times with Maud Gonne, he then proposed to her daughter, who was only a teenager when Yeats was in his fifties. He married Georgie, who was 27 years younger than him. When he was in his seventies, he had a vasectomy, and during that time he had some "intense friendships" with some young women. On a lighter note, Yeats won the Nobel Prize in literature in 1923. Yeats died on January 28, 1939. Byzantium http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_1_MF_3U-Zc
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