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Broken Dreams Analysis

Author: poem of William Butler Yeats Type: poem Views: 33

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There is grey in your hair.

Young men no longer suddenly catch their breath

When you are passing;

But maybe some old gaffer mutters a blessing

Because it was your prayer

Recovered him upon the bed of death.

For your sole sake - that all heart's ache have known,

And given to others all heart's ache,

From meagre girlhood's putting on

Burdensome beauty -- for your sole sake

Heaven has put away the stroke of her doom,

So great her portion in that peace you make

By merely walking in a room.

Your beauty can but leave among us

Vague memories, nothing but memories.

A young man when the old men are done talking

Will say to an old man, 'Tell me of that lady

The poet stubborn with his passion sang us

When age might well have chilled his blood.'

Vague memories, nothing but memories,

But in the grave all, all, shall be renewed.

The certainty that I shall see that lady

Leaning or standing or walking

In the first loveliness of womanhood,

And with the fervour of my youthful eyes,

Has set me muttering like a fool.

You are more beautiful than any one,

And yet your body had a flaw:

Your small hands were not beautiful,

And I am afraid that you will run

And paddle to the wrist

In that mysterious, always brimming lake

Where those What have obeyed the holy law

paddle and are perfect.  Leave unchanged

The hands that I have kissed,

For old sake's sake.

The last stroke of midnight dies.

All day in the one chair

From dream to dream and rhyme to rhyme I have ranged

In rambling talk with an image of air:

Vague memories, nothing but memories.


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

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I am studying this at English literature a-level. The quote "It was your prayer recovered him on the bed of death." This line has religious and supernatural themes to it. Links with Jesus bringing the man back from death. Yeats sees Maud as a saint, a saviour. Someone worth worshipping. Somebody who should be admired by other and many.

| Posted on 2015-01-12 | by a guest

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I think rhis poem is quite deep as Yeats has never been able to gain his love from Maud

| Posted on 2014-03-13 | by a guest

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I am analysing this poem for part of my English A-Level. In class we did an close language analysis on this poem and found that the words "blessing" and "your prayer" represented the theme of religion. Also in the tenth line it says "Burdensome Beauty"- this shows that beauty hindered her life. "A young man when the old men are done talking will say to an old man," - this shows that people will talk about her for years to come. "Heaven has put away the stroke of her doom" - this shows that death has rid her of her problems. Another point is when Yeats refers to his "youthful eyes" - this represents that his eyes have stayed young, he remembers how she looked when she was young.

| Posted on 2013-12-28 | by a guest

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Although we assume \'Broken Dreams\' is about Maud Goone, no personal references are made, however she inspired most of his work and we are also aware she did not return his love, leading to this bitter outburst of emotions, expressing that as her beauty ages, time has also turned his love into \"vague memories\"

| Posted on 2012-05-11 | by a guest

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This poem shows Yeats bitterness at Maud gonne not returning his love it has \"set [him] muttering like a fool\" and it was \"vague memories, nothing but memories\", the repetition of this phrase suggests his love was in the past and had lost importance becoming nothing but memories.

| Posted on 2012-04-09 | by a guest

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This poem is yet another example of Yeats love for Maud Gonne; he talks of vague memories to show how despite passing time his love for her is still strong and her beauty is his heaven for \"in the grave all, all shall be renewed\". However in the final stanza Yeats shows minor criticism of Maud for her \"small hands were not beautiful\" this may be a comment on Mauds marriage for the wedding ring on her finger would have ruined it\'s beauty in Yeats eyes.

| Posted on 2012-04-09 | by a guest

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