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No Second Troy Analysis



Author: poem of William Butler Yeats Type: poem Views: 19

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Why should I blame her that she filled my days

With misery, or that she would of late

Have taught to ignorant men most violent ways,

Or hurled the little streets upon the great.

Had they but courage equal to desire?

What could have made her peaceful with a mind

That nobleness made simple as a fire,

With beauty like a tightened bow, a kind

That is not natural in an age like this,

Being high and solitary and most stern?

Why, what could she have done, being what she is?

Was there another Troy for her to burn?






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

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It's not a complex poem. For poor besotted Yeats, Gonne was a pure force of nature, like an astrological concept, unable to be bent to most mundane purposes. He wants to excuse her lack of sympathy by excising any everyday humanity. Being a soldier is a brutal life, but there are situations where a soldier's mentality is ideal for the purpose. Mars does not fit well in parlors. By saying she had beauty like a tightened bow, he was making her into a monochromatic Bellona, a god. And because a god's will is both inscrutable and unarguable, that makes him feel somewhat less squashed.

| Posted on 2015-09-25 | by a guest


.: :.

It's not a complex poem. For poor besotted Yeats, Gonne was a pure force of nature, like an astrological concept, unable to be bent to most mundane purposes. He wants to excuse her lack of sympathy by excising any everyday humanity. Being a soldier is a brutal life, but there are situations where a soldier's mentality is ideal for the purpose. Mars does not fit well in parlors. By saying she had beauty like a tightened bow, he was making her into a monochromatic Bellona, a god. And because a god's will is both inscrutable and unarguable, that makes feel somewhat less squashed.

| Posted on 2015-09-25 | by a guest


.: :.

Sounds like a political statement , her as in the empire , ireland as the new troy , almost forgiving them of they're desire/greed because of their simple minded ways at the same time yeats couldn't blame them as ireland is a unique beauty. I love the way he referred to two entities as her , men have fought great wars ,murdered for their desires of women all throughout history.
I could be way off , beings that words are left to us to be interpreted how we feel they interperate

| Posted on 2015-08-02 | by a guest


.: :.

The poem seems to be divided into two parts: lines 1 through 5 deal more in the empirical realm (from emotional pain to political defiance and out rage), while lines 6 through 12 veer off into the ethereal- and apocalyptic- world of ancient Troy and its Helen.
WHY should I blame her that she filled my days / With misery describes the pain of Yeats’ unrequited love.
… that she would of late / Have taught to ignorant men most violent ways refers to Irish nationalists drawn to both her beauty and her nationalistic tendencies. That Yeats refers to them as ‘ignorant’ implies Maud’s intelligence.
My favorite line of the poem is: Or hurled the little streets upon the great, where ‘little streets’ is a reference to Irish nationalists and commoners rising up against the strength of a great British Empire. Yeats, it seems, has little confidence that the level of what they desire- an autonomous Ireland- would be met by an equal level of courage, hence the line: Had they but courage equal to desire.
Lines 6 through 10: Yeats exalts his would-be love by etherealizing her as above what he condemns in his own time (not natural in an age like this / Being high and solitary), and predicates upon her qualities of a goddess (peaceful, nobleness, beauty), even a warrior goddess (fire, like a tightened bow, most stern).
His language between lines 6 and 12 is suddenly one of allusions, memories and ideas that the earily Greeks would have known. He continues in line 11 with an allusion to Fate and Necessity, two ideas most certainly known by ancient Greeks, when describing her actions as being necessitated by her character (those attributes mentioned through lines 6 and 10): what could she have done, being what she is ...
Then comes- once again with Yeats- an apocalyptic consideration, a consideration which seems to me to be a synthesis of the empirical and ethereal tones of the poem as a whole: Was there another Troy for her to burn. In one breath Yeats refers to both Helen of Troy and \'Maud of Ireland’- where Ireland, another Troy, is set ablaze by a large and formidable foe (the fate of ancient Tory).
What I love about this poem is that it expresses so much- more than I dare attempt to touch on here- in just a few lines. Poets that do this (and do it well) leave me staggering in awe.
To know a poem in its context, even if vaguely, makes it so much more interesting and beautiful. Yeats would write notes and little comments about the works he produced; because he did this, some of his poems-poems that would normally be too remote for me to ‘feel’- have become some of my favorite to read and know. Context is a pretty thing. x

| Posted on 2010-12-14 | by a guest


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bla bla that is all wrong. the poem is saying that Gonne is a parasite lured into the world by the temptations of lust and power. Helen is merely a stalagmatic coherence in the poem

| Posted on 2010-10-28 | by a guest


.: :.

A bitter, violent opening of the poem as a result of his unrequitet love - Maud Gonne.All disatisfaction, all pain that this woman caused are shown. The poem does not retell much oh Helen but only alludes. The whole poem sonsists of 4 rethorical questions. the answer of the last is given in the title. 'Had they but courage equal to desire' - the question remains open. The desire was greater than the courage. In the poem is given a definition of beauty; a beauty that destroys. If this beauty is not appropriatefor this age then for which age it is? A contrast and a paralel is made between Helen of Troy and Maud Gonne. Helen had a destructive beauty appropriate for her age,whereas Maud Gonne did not. Yeats compares the beauty of Gonne with the one of Helen. Both were destructive because they were dangerous. They had the same danderous beauty. This age does not recognize this kind of beauty.
rhyme patterns: ABAB CDCD EFEF
lines:decasyllabic all the way through

| Posted on 2009-01-18 | by a guest




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