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The Song Of Wandering Aengus Analysis

Author: Poetry of William Butler Yeats Type: Poetry Views: 2191

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I WENT out to the hazel wood,

Because a fire was in my head,

And cut and peeled a hazel wand,

And hooked a berry to a thread;

And when white moths were on the wing,

And moth-like stars were flickering out,

I dropped the berry in a stream

And caught a little silver trout.

When I had laid it on the floor

I went to blow the fire aflame,

But something rustled on the floor,

And some one called me by my name:

It had become a glimmering girl

With apple blossom in her hair

Who called me by my name and ran

And faded through the brightening air.

Though I am old with wandering

Through hollow lads and hilly lands.

I will find out where she has gone,

And kiss her lips and take her hands;

And walk among long dappled grass,

And pluck till time and times are done

The silver apples of the moon,

The golden apples of the sun.


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

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I belive i have made a mistake in my initial analysis of the poem i have searched and i have found no reference to the gilmmering girl being elvish but it is possible the girl could be faerie

| Posted on 2012-07-14 | by a guest

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This poem is also mentioned in the book the Land of The Silver apples by Nancy Farmer in the last paragraph makes me think the author is talking about spending his eternal life with the one he loved in heaven which explains the reference the the apples of the moon and the sun when the author talks about the glimmering girl it makes me think of an elven girl which stories state that elves are able to cast a glamour which can make them look amazingly beautiful to any person who looks upon them and please correct me if i am wrong on the elvish front

| Posted on 2012-07-14 | by a guest

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Agreed with guest who posted on 2012-05-18. Here\'s a good literary reading of the poem: x

| Posted on 2012-05-22 | by a guest

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I am facinated by the comments left about this poem in that they are so way off the mark. This poem has nothing to do with greek mythology. This poem is based on the ancient Irish myth \'The Dream of Ķengus\' and is about Ķengus who meets Caer in a dream and falls in love but when he wakes wanders Ireland for 3 years to find her and with the help of the old gods finally does. Caer when confronted has a golden necklace around her neck and her maidens have silver necklaces around theirs. The both then turn into swans so they can spend eternity together. Go read the story people...

| Posted on 2012-05-18 | by a guest

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This is a man searching for love....who finds it and loses it. He never gives up looking. This poem was used in the BRidges of Madison County film where a man and woman found each other and parted but never forgot each other. I experience this poem as touching and sad.

| Posted on 2012-03-15 | by a guest

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It is deeply romantic but also refers to that aspect of our human condition which restlessly seeks to recapture something we never really had in the first place. It\'s about the impossibility of achieving happiness; that elusive moment when we sense we are on the brink of a life-changing love, and the yearning for a second chance to grasp that moment, the regret that lives with us day and night, until our time is done.

| Posted on 2012-02-20 | by a guest

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Hello, I\'m studying this poem in my Irish Literature seminar class. I understand the poem and think it offers everyone an insight to Irish culture and beliefs. However, I feel stressed and unstressed syllables help us understand the poem better. What are the stressed and unstressed syllables in the poem?

| Posted on 2011-02-28 | by a guest

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In our youth, we live in a world of discovery, magic and love. In our later years, we long to return to that irretrievable time of magic again.

| Posted on 2010-12-23 | by a guest

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What a load of tosh. I know these words they are from a Christy Moore song about totty! This Yeats guy is clever - get someone else to do the work. I once wrote up the words for Iron maidens Wrathchild for my English GCSE and now I\'m a plummer.

| Posted on 2010-11-17 | by a guest

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The Keltic apple is a the symbol of life and youth, and the sun and moon emphisises the passage of time. He is old and is recaptured by femine Youth, and decides that the deeds and doings of youth are the only things worth pursuing, and so he does taking the golden apples of the sun (each day) till the end of time [- his time, which is the same thing].

| Posted on 2010-10-07 | by a guest

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The Song of Wandering Aengus & I met for the first time in 1977 when I was sifting through a bunch of old books that were designated to be sold for charity fundraising. I was an immature 17-year-old boy who, on the inside at least, was also a man. Consumed with boredom while someone was keeping me waiting, I carelessly poked through the dirty, ragged old books that were in the eroded cardboard donation box. One caught my eye and hand simply because the rough-looking, marine-green, cloth-bound hardcover was so much smoother and softer to the touch than expected; and, because the last remnants of it's shiny gold lettering had been almost completely obliterated by time and wear to such an extent that, not even a single character of it could be discerned. Taking the book, I sat myself on the edge of an old office-desk and half-heartedly broke it open to a random page (which just so happened to be "The Song of Wandering Aengus"). As I read it through the first time, it felt like slipping on an old glove. It not only touched me (deeply). . . it fit me. It felt recognizable and familiar the very first time I read it. The bond was instantaneous and permanent.

| Posted on 2010-06-21 | by a guest

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Yeats uses classic Greek mythology and ancient cletic faerie symbolism to illustrate a man's desire to always be searching for somthing. First, he finds the hazel wood, then he finds the switch and berries to make a fishing rod and bait with which to catch a fish. When the fish is caught, it turns into something more spiritual to him as he is preparing the fire on which to cook it. What affects a man on a deeper level and love and lust for a beautiful woman. The reference to the apples, I feel, is a symbol of eternity, day after day (sun after sun) and night after night (moon after moon). But notice, he never actaully aquires the faerie woman. Instead, he is on a quest to find her. It falls into the thrill of the chase, and the old saying that half the fun of getting to a destination is the journey itself. That journey is what keeps man happy -- a purpose. So the faerie is a symbol of purpose to man. Purpose keeps him going.

| Posted on 2010-02-09 | by a guest

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This poem is about the human condition. As people we are constantly in pursuit of the unknown -- we desire to explain the unexplainable and understand the incomprehensible. If you find this poem moves you and you don't understand why, it is because this poem speaks to our deepest desire to know what we cannot know.

| Posted on 2009-11-23 | by a guest

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I always have liked this poem, ever since I heard it used in the play "Painting Churches" by Tina Howe. Only recently though, have I truly understood the sense of loss and desire in the poem. I left my high school and a dear dear girlfriend after my sophamore year (1974). We lost track of each other and spent our lives trying to find each other again. I definetely walked thru hollow lands and hilly lands searching for her. We finally found each other again just 2 years ago by using the internet, and we will NEVER be separated again! I think Aengus should never give up, but keep on looking.

| Posted on 2009-08-02 | by a guest

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| Posted on 2009-04-22 | by a guest

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Well I am fifteen and I'm in mythology so to the person that is trying to say that all the goddesses got in a cat fight over the golden apple that is wrong. What really happened is that yes irus got jealous and threw the apple that said to the prettiest one but when the goddesses asked zues who would get it he let Paris decide. When the different goddesses bribed Paris he accepted Aphrodites which was the most beautiful women in the world who happened to be married and well you know the rest.

| Posted on 2008-08-25 | by a guest

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I left school at 15 with no qualifications and have gained none since. I thought poetry was a pile of tosh made solely for educated people to enjoy. i never understood poetry when I was at school and so it made me feel stupid.

A friend of mine recently gave me an anthology of poems from Marlowe, Byron, Shelley and a host of other great writers. I couldnt put it down, quite literaly didnt even stop to eat. I was hooked instantly.

I was looking for some form of words to write the other day to an ex partner and I came across The song of wandering aengus.

This poem blew me away when I readf it, but I couldnt figure out why.

I am massivly grateful for the above explanations. I needed to know why this poem moved me so much, and now I do. Thank you

| Posted on 2007-02-23 | by a guest

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This poem also receives mention in the book Illuminatus, by Robert Shea and Robert Anton Wilson. They reverse the order, talking about the Golden Apples of the Sun and Silver Apples of the Moon. The Golden Apple symbolizes the Golden Apple of Discord which Eris (Goddess of Chaos) threw. The other Gods and Goddesses did not invite her to a party because of Her reputation, so she threw the Golden Apple which said Kallisti (To the Prettiest One) which cracked the holy punchbowl which caused the goddesses to start throwing punch around and pulling each other's hair which caused Zeus to calm things down and appoint Paris the Arbiter who named Afrodite the Prettiest One who maneuvered events so Paris could have Helen of Sparta which started the Trojan War, the first war among men. Do you believe that?
In this poem Yeats brilliantly describes an encounter with this archetypal Goddess figure, often seen as a glimmering girl. The narrator first does a magical ritual to evoke Her. The ritual works, and Goddess appears in the form of a glimmering girl with apple blossoms in her hair. However, as She tends to do, she then runs into the brightening air, calling the narrator to follow, conjuring images of walking through long green appled grass for eternity with the Living Goddess. Note that he has not found Her at the end of the poem. Do you believe that?

| Posted on 2005-08-18 | by Approved Guest

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This poem was mentioned in "The Bridges of Madison County." In the book i believe that the author is showing the comparison between the characters in the book, and the people in the poem. The poem is about a boy who finds a girl who is perfect for him, when he least expects it. When they are together, they are perfect and things are great. The last two lines show that although these two people love each other, they are from different worlds, and cannot be together.

| Posted on 2005-06-06 | by Approved Guest

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