Yeats remained involved with the Abbey until his death, both as a member of the board and a prolific playwright. Inhe helped set up the Dun Emer Press to publish work by writers associated with the Revival. This became the Cuala Press inand inspired by the Arts and Crafts Movement, sought to "find work for Irish hands in the making of beautiful things.
Yeats was born in Dublin, Ireland, and is one of the most celebrated poets in Irish history. Many of his poems reflect the Irish spirit, but this poem concentrates more on the love he once shared with a woman. This woman is probably Maud Gonne, an Irish revolutionary who ended up marrying another man.
Yeats himself would go on to marry, but many see When You Are Old as a poem highlighting the failed relationship with Gonne.
After an initial read, many see this poem as one that is filled with love, but the last stanza is dark; the speaker is reminding his former mistress that their love did not last, and this is something she should regret for the rest of her life.
As a result, he won the Nobel Prize in Literature in There are two analytical interpretations of this poem within this article.
When You Are Old Summary This is a poem that many see as highlighting the unrequited love between the speaker, presumably Yeats, and his former lover. The speaker, talking directly to his muse, instructs her to open the book in which this poem can be found and to re-read it.
While re-reading, she should recall how many people loved her for both true and false reasons, namely because of her beauty. The speaker goes on to tell the lover that there was one man, probably the speaker, who loved her completely.
In the final stanza, the speaker tells his former lover that she should remember that this love did not last, and she should be filled with regret because of it. Additionally, Yeats wrote the poem in iambic pentameter. This, coupled with the steady rhyme scheme, lends a sing-song quality to the poem.
While the work is relatively short, like any Yeats poem, it is jam-packed with imagery and other poetic devices. The first stanza opens the poem, revealing that our speaker is talking directly to his former lover.
The first line reads: The speaker has very specific instructions for his lover. However one interprets that line, it is safe to say that the speaker is telling his lover that he loved her to the very depths of her soul. In the tenth line, Yeats utilizes personification by having love flee like a person would.
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.
The tone of the poem changes with this last stanza. Historical Context While Yeats did write political poems, this is not one of them. However, it should be noted that Maud Gonne, like Yeats, was seen as a political figure in Ireland.
Both were nationalists, and it was this passion, coupled with her undeniable beauty, that made Yeats fall in love with her. Yeats proposed to her numerous times, and each time he was denied.William Butler Yeats () When You Are Old. WHEN you are old and gray and full of sleep, And nodding by the fire, take down this book, And slowly read, and dream of the soft look.
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You have been alive for. You have been alive for.
You age is about. Did you find us useful? Please consider supporting the site with a small donation. “When You Are Old” is mainly based on imagination. It starts with a lovely and warm picture of an old lady: when you are old, my lady, and your hair have turned grey, you .
When you are old and tired and gray Wear you overcoat on sunny days When your brave tales have all been told I'll ask for them when you are old When you are old and full of sleep And death no longer makes you weep When your body aches with cold I'll warm your heart when you are old You'll still be the same to me A comfort and a mystery And I.