Author of poetry, William Butler Yeats, wrote during the twentieth century which was a time of change. It was marked by world wars, revolutions, technological innovations, and also a mass media explosion. Throughout Yeats poems he indirectly sends a message to his readers through the symbolism of certain objects. In the poems The Lake Isle of Innisfree, The wild Swans at Cole, and Sailing to Byzantium, all by William Yeats expresses his emotional impact of his word choices and symbolic images. To begin, the poem, The Lake Isle of Innisfree, uses the lake Innisfree to send a symbolic message. Yeats begins by telling us where it is he is leaving to. “I will arise and go now, and go to Innisfree, And a small cabin build there, of clay and
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Yeats talks about how he has been coming to the castle of Cole for nineteen years now during the season of autumn. Each year he comes and watches the wild swans and is always in awe of their beauty. “I have looked upon those brilliant creatures, and now my heart is sore. All’s changed since I, hearing at twilight, the first time on this shore, the ell-beat of their wings above my head, trod with a lighter head.” (Pg. 1143, lines 13-18). Although he has been coming here for many years now he realizes he has grown old. That just like the wild swan our souls and spirits are ready for flight when we grow old. “But now they drift on the still water, mysterious, beautiful; among what rushes will they build, by what lake’s edge or pool flight men’s eyes when I awake some day to find they have flown away?” (Pg. 1143, lines 25-30).
Lastly, we have the poem, Sailing to Byzantium, in which Yeats uses the destination of Byzantium to symbolize death and rebirth. Yeats tells us that young people don’t understand life. That the reasons you are here is to live and die, and be reincarnated. He says, “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.” (Pg. 1147, lines