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He is considered the leader of the Irish Literary Renaissance.
He went through three "periods of poetry", one of which was an attempt to reveal beauty, one simply focused on Irish problems, and one was the topic of self-discovery.
He was a senator from 1922-1928 and many of his poems are relative to politics and current events. Style At this time, many contemporary writers began experimenting with new styles of writing such as blank verse; however, Yeats stuck to traditional verse forms. He seems to have favored iambic pentameter and the occasional rhyme scheme. The Wild Swans at Coole He was definitely an open-minded man. He included elements of Irish and Greek mythology, occultism, English literature, Byzantine art, and Christian imagery in his poetry. He even came up with his own theory to explain myths, imagination, and history. Style Cont. In addition to relating his poems to politics and his personal life, the central theme of his most famous poems is about getting through life despite the challenges of old age and emotional obstacles. The Wild Swans at Coole Interpretation The trees are in their autumn beauty,
The woodland paths are dry,
Under the October twilight the water
Mirrors a still sky;
Upon the brimming water among the stones
Are nine and fifty swans.
The nineteenth Autumn has come upon me
Since I first made my count;
I saw, before I had well finished,
All suddenly mount
And scatter wheeling in great broken rings
Upon their clamorous rings.
I have looked upon these brilliant creatures,
And now my heart is sore.
All's changed since I, hearing at twilight,
The first time on this shore,
The bell-beat of their wings above my head,
Trod with a lighter tread.
Unwearied still, lover by lover,
They paddle in the cold,
Companionable streams or climb the air;
Their hearts have not grown old;
Passion or conquest, wonder where they will;
Attend upon them still.
But now they drift on the still water
Among what rushes will they build,
By what lake's edge or pool
Delight men's eyes when I awake some day
To find they have flown away? Firstly, the poem is written in the traditional iambic pentameter with a rhyme scheme of ABCBDD. Secondly, in the poem, he says, "All's changed, changed utterly" in the fifteen years since he's seen the swans. In reality, the World War and the Irish civil war had occurred. The imagery of nature, gloomy tone, and form are the main components of the poem. As the poet reflects on painful memories, the swans provide a contrast as symbols of hearts that remain full of love and life.