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Remorse For Intemperate Speech Analysis

Author: poem of William Butler Yeats Type: poem Views: 24

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I ranted to the knave and fool,
But outgrew that school,
Would transform the part,
Fit audience found, but cannot rule
My fanatic heart.

I sought my betters:  though in each
Fine manners, liberal speech,
Turn hatred into sport,
Nothing said or done can reach
My fanatic heart.

Out of Ireland have we come.
Great hatred, little room,
Maimed us at the start.
I carry from my mother's womb
A fanatic heart.  


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||| Analysis | Critique | Overview Below |||

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According to David A. Ross, Critical Companion to William Butler Yeats, the poem expresses remorse for fanaticism and celebrates it at the same time. The first stanza recalls his flirtation with extreme nationalism in the 1890s. He learned to temper his speech, the better to impress his audience, but could not tame his \'fanatic heart\'. The second stanza tells of his involvement in Anglo-Irish literary circles, which were refined enough to turn his \'hatred into sport\', but still could not change his heart. The final stanza says that his fanaticism is the product of his Irish heritage. Although the word \'maimed\' has negative connotations, the last two lines proudly proclaim his fanaticism, which he \'carries from his mother\'s womb\'.

| Posted on 2011-05-21 | by a guest

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I would say this poem is rather a lament on the anger and hatred that the Irish, Yeats among them, cannot ever really let go of- an inheritance of injustice and righteous resistance carried on so long that it continues to tear at those subsequent generations unable to set it aside and make peace with themselves or with their past.
In this poem the uncontrollable anger and fanaticism is damning more so even than the English oppression- something the Irish cannot seem to escape even after Liberation.

| Posted on 2009-06-28 | by a guest

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This poem is a genuine lament about the alienation of the Irish people that begins in the pram.

| Posted on 2008-11-13 | by a guest

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