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The Cold Heaven Analysis

Author: poem of William Butler Yeats Type: poem Views: 23

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Suddenly I saw the cold and rook-delighting heaven

That seemed as though ice burned and was but the more ice,

And thereupon imagination and heart were driven

So wild that every casual thought of that and this

Vanished, and left but memories, that should be out of season

With the hot blood of youth, of love crossed long ago;

And I took all thc blame out of all sense and reason,

Until I cried and trembled and rocked to and fro,

Riddled with light.  Ah! when the ghost begins to quicken,

Confusion of the death-bed over, is it sent

Out naked on the roads, as the books say, and stricken

By the injustice of the skies for punishment?


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

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The rook is the bird that symbolizes sadness. Heaven represents the heart. The ice represents time. Time continues and drives the imagination and the heart until there are only memories. The memories should have passed with time, with aging, and with the normal ending of love from long ago. Yet despite logic, and without the any more references to normal rational sensibility, I cried and was shaken and filled with light from the ghost of the past, the confusion of the death of the past, and left as the bare naked truth, with the punishment of an empty heart (sky/heaven) all that remains.

| Posted on 2014-03-21 | by a guest

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Yeats is Irish, which means he has an over-developed sense of guilt. The poem is about the overwhelming sense of remorse and guilt than can overcome one, sometimes quite abruptly, on the reflection of one\'s own failings and errors. Like an ague, cold and feverish at once. It is about a superfluity of guilt, about an internal emotional state projected onto an intractable, unreachable, unjust, unkind, unappealable, unappeasable, cold, judgmental heaven whose reach extends implacably beyond life even unto eternal death. It\'s a bad feeling. Hope you\'ve never experienced it, and the poem remains a mystery to you for all your days.

| Posted on 2013-05-30 | by a guest

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craig, my friend is also posting comments which are innapropriate, his name is craig mconnel and goes to verulam school, he is 17 and has a small affro and lives in new greens his d.o.b is 21/10/1995

| Posted on 2012-11-27 | by a guest

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The first half of the poem looks at life and the remorse Yeats has (this poem like so many others can be linked back to his love for Maud Gonne) then in latter half of the poem he is looking towards to death in a confused way wondering if this remorse will continue past death. The opening line \"suddenly i saw\" automatically tells the reder that the poem is a revalation and the rhythmn keeps the whole poem obsessive and rocking, showing Yeats own confusion and inner conflicts by ending with a rhetorical question the reader can see Yeats becoming more and more obsessed with him own ideas.

| Posted on 2012-03-27 | by a guest

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This poem has to do with how terrible instances can alter one\'s perception of the world - Yeats hints at that fact when he has the speaker acknowledge that heaven \"seemed as though ice burned...\". Seeming and the imagination are important in this poem, because we are getting a glimpse into the mind of a person who has taken up a very critical, spiteful perception of the sky and of heaven itself.

| Posted on 2012-02-21 | by a guest

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about life and death, connected with the life and death of Ireland, it's culture and traditions.

| Posted on 2008-09-28 | by a guest

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