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The Wild Swans At Coole Analysis

Author: Poetry of William Butler Yeats Type: Poetry Views: 3197

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THE trees are in their autumn beauty,

The woodland paths are dry,

Under the October twilight the water

Mirrors a still sky;

Upon the brimming water among the stones

Are nine-and-fifty Swans.

The nineteenth autumn has come upon me

Since I first made my count;

I saw, before I had well finished,

All suddenly mount

And scatter wheeling in great broken rings

Upon their clamorous wings.

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 bell-beat of their wings above my head,

Trod with a lighter tread.

Unwearied still, lover by lover,

They paddle in the cold

Companionable streams or climb the air;

Their hearts have not grown old;

Passion or conquest, wander where they will,

Attend upon them still.

But now they drift on the still water,

Mysterious, beautiful;

Among what rushes will they build,

By what lake's edge or pool

Delight men's eyes when I awake some day

To find they have flown away?


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

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| Posted on 2018-02-03 | by a guest

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The Wild Swans at Coole is a poem examining the inevitability of change and the passing of time. Througout the poem, Yeat compares the mortality of human existence with the never-ending natural beauty which exists in this regenerative cycle. Through the paradox of examining human mortality through the regenerative cycle of nature, Yeats presents the overall notion that life is never-changing and even the swans (symbolising permanence) will one day, "have flown away."

| Posted on 2016-04-09 | by a guest

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i think wild swans at coole is a love poem about the inevitability of change and perhaps need for change.

| Posted on 2012-06-01 | by a guest

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I think the poem relates to the invention of the steam engine, in which it drives on and on, but unlike the swan, it benefits man. W B Yeats had a famous phobia of birds, and so to write upon them in a poem shows true mastery of conquering his fears. The 30 lines of the poem represent the 30 years of struggle undertaken by Ireland for her freedom from the UK. A beautiful if not slightly haunting poem.

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

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final stanza describes a beautiful tranquil scene in nature. The swans ‘drift on the still water’. Yeats using the adjectives ‘mysterious’ and ‘beautiful’ to describe them. But the poet also realises that he may return some day and they may not be there ‘when I awake some day/ To find they have flown away. In “The Wild Swans at Coole’ Yeats is writing honestly about the pain of time’s passage. Since he first counted the swans he has witnessed World War I, the Irish Civil War and has experienced heart-ache and loneliness. Yeats has taken an image from nature, the swan, which symbolises permanence and everlasting love and effectively contrasted it with the pain associated with growing old.

| Posted on 2012-04-17 | by a guest

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I was in IB! (: i commend you! This poem is amazing, and I loved analyzing it for my oral! (:

| Posted on 2011-11-02 | by a guest

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\'nineteenth\' and \'first\' in stanza 2 is contrasted to emphasize the difference from his younger self (when he first visited coole park) to his self now.

| Posted on 2011-11-01 | by a guest

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You can tell by the way the complainers write that there\'s a reason why THEY find this site \"crappy\". Keep up the good work, analysers! These analyses are very helpful!

| Posted on 2011-10-13 | by a guest

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im surprise that you\'re doing the IB when you CANT EVEN WRITE PROPERLY...it\'s spelt useless not unuseful you DUMBSHIT
and these genius have helped me understand literature so THANK YOU

| Posted on 2011-10-03 | by a guest

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im surprise that you\'re doing the IB when you CANT EVEN WRITE PROPERLY...it\'s spelt useless not unuseful you DUMBSHIT
and these genius have helped me understand literature so THANK YOU

| Posted on 2011-10-03 | by a guest

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eNGLISH oral on this poem have to anylis please help me.

| Posted on 2011-05-18 | by a guest

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This is such a beautiful poem. \'Bell-beat\' is alliteration and sounds sharp and blunt compared to the other softer sounds in the poem such as \'lover-by-lover\'. \'Bell-beat of their wings above my head trod with a lighter tread\', this shows that Yeates feels more pain now as the swans remind him that he has aged and is lonely and everything has changed aroung him but the swans have not. When he was younger he was more carefree but now the flapping of the swans wings feel heavy on him. V and J HRSFC.

| Posted on 2011-01-21 | by a guest

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The poet is ageing and the swans are not.The nine and fifty refers to the one swan that is left out and doesnt have a partner or any love...it is similar to his life since he used to love Maud Ginne but she left him so the one single swan refers to him.Also the one swan could mean his friend Lady Gregory\'s lost son.
Passion and conquest wander where they will means that wherever the swans go they will be folowd by passion and will not be defeated...the poet says trod with a lghter tread which could mean that when he was younger he was more energetic...basically the poem is about love and ageing and also nature..

| Posted on 2010-09-05 | by a guest

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The real message in this poem is the words "nine and fifty." Since swans mate for life, where did the missing swan go and what does the missing swan represent? I believe it repesents something missing in Yates life. Could it be the love of a women or the chance for love that has long since gone? Very beautiful and in many ways a sad poem.
A Guest

| Posted on 2010-05-16 | by a guest

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| Posted on 2010-03-09 | by a guest

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This web site has helped me understand the meaning of The Wild Swans At Coole. I just realized how truely beautiful this poem is. Thanks =)

| Posted on 2010-02-24 | by a guest

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Hi, i need someone to reply to this message before the 10/02/10. Please , I am in desperate need for this English essay thing. The question the book asks is:
In what way does he find the swans beautiful?
can any1 plz reply and help me, thanks

| Posted on 2010-02-03 | by a guest

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This poem discusses the fall of life, this is paralleled in the setting. In autumn life is on the descent, the trees begin to lose their leaves and the coming cold mirrors death. The lively swans movements stand out against the still setting.
'The ninteenth autumn has come upon me,' meaning time keeps moving foreword, (The narrator is passive)like the swans in the static setting time continues forword.
The narrator reflects on the changes in his life as a result of his growing age. He knows that some day he will dye, but the swans will live on. The thought of death establishes a somber and pensive tone.
Swans are elegant and gracefull creatures, symbols of love. There is an odd number of swans, fifty-nine, implying one has lost a mate. This lonlyness of disertion is again seen in the last line of the poem- 'I awake someday to find they have flown away.'

| Posted on 2009-12-13 | by a guest

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I HATE THIS WEBSITE. omg so unuseful.. like seriously im doing the IB.. come on... wow guys;. THIS IS NOT FUNNY

| Posted on 2009-11-11 | by a guest

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This poem contrasts two different things. His life and his life 19 years ago, and his life and the swans.

| Posted on 2009-09-21 | by a guest

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*Coole is a park for Yeats rich friend her name is ( lady augusta).
* There is an image of an autumn night. The night is quiet and the good land is dry ( the paths ) and the moonlight is reflected on the water.

| Posted on 2009-06-14 | by a guest

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The great broken rings he speaks of refers to the fact that he did not get married in his whole life.

| Posted on 2009-05-28 | by a guest

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Crappiest website?
I dont think so.. These smart asses practically write my school poetry questions for me

| Posted on 2009-05-19 | by a guest

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It is a beautiful poem in which Yeats watches in wonder at the beautiful never aging swans of the lake he visited 19 years before. The lake is a symbol of life and is a reference from his other poem Easter 1916. This poem also falls under the category of a Romantic poem. Romantic poems usually have the following characteristics:
1. Love of nature
2. Emotion
3. Childhood and innocence
4. Love of Freedom
5. mysterious and supernatural.
Obviously Yeates has a certain draw to nature. He applies what he observes from nature to his own life. In his view the swans never age...They always look the same and are taking part in the same activities. They appear as young as ever and have for the last 19 years. Yeats feels the opposite. After comparing himself to the swans he feels like he has aged and the swans have stayed young. Autumn and twilight represent aging and there is alliteration on line 17 with "bell-beat".

| Posted on 2009-01-30 | by a guest

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this is a wonderful piece about yeats reflection on time, using the swans to show the passing of time, as the swans are unchanged in 19 years, and yet he has changed a lot..

| Posted on 2008-11-24 | by a guest

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This poem is about Yeats' heartbreak over Maud Gonne not reciprocating his love for her. He refers to the ficklness of human relationships in comparison th the life-long commitment of the swans. Its slow beat and use of sibilance indicate that it is set in a very quiet, peaceful place.

| Posted on 2008-11-19 | by a guest

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This poem is about aging and is almost autobiographical. On the first level it can be understood as Yeats having a whinge. But of course there is always a deeper meaning. Autumn and twilight parallel in that they both represent aging and getting older, even the lead up to death. The water in the lake in a reference to 'Easter 1916' another one of his poems and represents life. Yeats is of course not in the water and is therfore not part of everyday life. This is how he sees himself anyway. The swans can be seen as a metaphor for himself. He admires swans because they seem to not age and they stay with their mate for life. This is obviously a reflection on Yeats being knocked back for the second time by the love of his life.

| Posted on 2008-11-17 | by a guest

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| Posted on 2008-10-17 | by a guest

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This poem is a reflection of the speaker on his thoughts and sense of growth since he has last been to this spot nineteen years before. His heart is sore from realizing all the time between his last visit and he feels he has changed, although the swans remain unwearied. It is about the pain of time's passing and the struggle to uphold the integrity of the soul. The speaker wishes to preserve the minds connection to "the deeps heart core". The manner in which the speaker is caught up in the gentle pain of personnal memory contrasts sharply with the beautiful, warm swans which appear unchanged.

| Posted on 2005-04-20 | by Approved Guest

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