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Sailing to Byzantium
Transcript of Sailing to Byzantium
One of the main themes in Sailing to Byzantium the link concerning Yeats maturing body and youthful mind, and his wish to gain stability not likely in reality. Yeats is seeking escape from the human body into the world of Byzantium which represents artistic brilliance and permanence, however by the end of the poem Yeats concludes that intellect is restricted by the human condition.
W.B. Yeats was an Irish poet
He served as an Irish Senator for two terms
1865-1939 was born in Dublin
His poetry made him one of the outstanding and most influential twentieth-century poets writing in English
Won The Nobel Prize in Literature 1923
He joined the Golden Dawn, a secret society, the society offered instruction and initiation in a series of ten levels
He admired a wide range of English poetry and drama
Yeats' poem "Sailing to Byzantium" is concerned with the passing of time, and how someone can become eternal. Yeats lived from 1865 to 1939; so this poem, which was written in 1926, reflects his fears about aging and becoming irrelevant. The narrator of this poem is concerned with the idea of human condition, which is that we are born, we live, and then we die. The narrator seeks out a place where he will be able to join the monuments of history, so that he will be able to live on forever. He chooses Byzantium, present day Istanbul, because of its rich history and monuments dedicated to the past. He hopes that by becoming a monument himself, he will be able to defeat the human condition.
By: William Butler Yeats
Sailing to Byzantium
Figure looking out
fictional hope of Byzantium
Yeats, William B. Http://www.nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/literature/laureates/1923/yeats-bio.html. N.p.: n.p., n.d. Print.
Yeats, william B. Http://www.poetryfoundation.org/bio/william-butler-yeats. N.p.: n.p., n.d. Print.
Yeats, William B. Http://www.bachelorandmaster.com/britishandamericanpoetry/sailing-to-byzantium.html. N.p.: n.p., n.d. Print.
Yeats, William B. Http://www.articlemyriad.com/analysis-themes-poems-yeats/. N.p.: n.p., n.d. Print.
Cezanna, Paul. "Paul Cezanne: founding father of modern art." http://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/jonathanjonesblog/2013/feb/05/paul-cezanne-founding-father-modern-art. N.p., n.d. Web. 25 Oct. 2013
"Poet: William Butler Yeats." YouTube. YouTube, 18 Dec. 2012. Web. 28 Oct. 2013.
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 unaging 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.