His work after 1910 was strongly influenced by Pound, becoming more modern in its concision and imagery, but Yeats never abandoned his strict adherence to traditional verse forms. One should note that the poem is not autobiographical as the poet did not visit the city of Byzantium. He might want to wind up something endless and perpetual. 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. This, coupled with the steady rhyme scheme, lends a sing-song quality to the poem.
Image: Engraving of Leda and the Swan by Cornelis Bos 16th century , via. However, following the fear and trauma of the Great War, as it was referred to in the twenties, people began to lose faith in intellectualism and all of the certainties of the Enlightenment and the Victorian era, and turned increasingly to realism. No storm can disturb these flames which are begotten of blood according to medieval belief or are self-generating. The dolphins that are carrying spirits across the ocean will one day return and the speaker or someone like him will carry on the effort of expanding his mental horizons. He leaves his faith and pride to these young fishermen. Byzantium with its five stanzas echoes the five part book Per Amica Silentia Lunae which is a crucial part in Yeats's developing world view. Metrically, each is quite complicated; the lines are loosely iambic, with the first, second, third, fifth, and eighth lines in pentameter, the fourth line in tetrameter, and the sixth and seventh line in trimeter, so that the pattern of line-stresses in each stanza is 55545335.
Marbles of the dancing floor Break bitter furies of complexity, Those images that yet Fresh images beget, That dolphin-torn, that gong-tormented sea. Stanza 1 The scene is being set. Scott Fitzgerald created male characters with a kind of impotent intellectualism, who felt disconnected from the world around them and unable to find meaning in their lives. The aged man acquires some merit or value only if old age is accompanied by a spiritual recognition by admiring the great works of art. It weaves mythology and symbolism in and out of scenes of spiritual transformation. He asks them to move in a gyre and take him away to death. This man is a ruined master of the house.
This image is pastoral, with the young man fishing in the fertile streams of Ireland. A mix of pyrrhic and iamb in the next two lines before an anapaest appears in line 36. The only hurdle in this way is getting the right school where the soul can get an education which is difficult to find in that country because every singing school, instead of caring for monuments of unageing intellect is busy studying the monuments of its own significance. It comprises four in , each made up of eight ten-syllable lines. This, combined with the fact that at the time the Hagia Sophia was being built the Roman Empire was disintegrating, foreshadows the emperorÕs demise.
The dolphin here is mire and blood - sensual and physical - a creature that has empathy with humans is now representing nature, nature at one with the spirit. All these, at the same time, are creatures who are very much subject to death. Yeats seems to be telling his lover that while his love for her will always remain, she will be unable to reach it, as one is unable to reach into the heavens and pluck out a star. 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. Theophilus, according to legend, had just such mechanical birds.
This world or country had a culture so integrated as to produce an art which could have the impact of single image. The ghost may be dead when seen from an earthly perspective; alive when seen from the spiritual realm. Hanrahan is an intertextual character, appearing in other Yeats works. Summary of Stanza V Sprits sit astride on the dolphins with their mire and blood and reach the beach of Byzantium. His studies of esoteric philosophy, mythology and mysticism meant that he was very much in tune with symbolism.
A second analysis: Sailing to Byzantium by W. Both were nationalists, and it was this passion, coupled with her undeniable beauty, that made Yeats fall in love with her. Before me floats an image, man or shade, Shade more than man, more image than a shade; For Hades' bobbin bound in mummy-cloth May unwind the winding path; A mouth that has no moisture and no breath Breathless mouths may summon; I hail the superhuman; I call it death-in-life and life-in-death. For him, the cultural and artistic energies of Byzantium were a perfect form, peaking at a special time in cyclic history. From this life he is sailing to the city of Byzantium where an intellectual life is awaiting him.
He understands that his heart is trapped inside a meaty animal that will soon kick the bucket: the poet needs to leave this world and enter the universe of timeless symbolization through his melody poetry. Byzantium is a mystical and strangely haunting poem full of imagery and symbolism, five formal looking stanzas that carry an incredible vision. Henceforth the old must look for Byzantium; that is, the nation of the old; it is arrived at by sailing the oceans, by breaking absolutely with the nation of the youthful; all ardor must be deserted; the spirit must be allowed to study the seals of constant things. In other words, the narrator wants to become part of those things which are beyond the cycle of birth and death. The lovely peasant girl, whom the speaker also refers to as Helen as in Helen of Troy , is undoubtedly Maude Gonne. And the Emperor it seems has lost control of his soldiers; they're all drunk, sleeping it off. Human existence is an unnecessary complication, a blot compared to the Òmoonlit domeÓ of the cathedral, i.