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A Prayer For My Daughter Analysis



Author: Poetry of William Butler Yeats Type: Poetry Views: 5145





ONCE more the storm is howling, and half hid

Under this cradle-hood and coverlid

My child sleeps on.There is no obstacle

But Gregory's wood and one bare hill

Whereby the haystack- and roof-levelling wind.

Bred on the Atlantic, can be stayed;

And for an hour I have walked and prayed

Because of the great gloom that is in my mind.

I have walked and prayed for this young child an hour

And heard the sea-wind scream upon the tower,

And-under the arches of the bridge, and scream

In the elms above the flooded stream;

Imagining in excited reverie

That the future years had come,

Dancing to a frenzied drum,

Out of the murderous innocence of the sea.

May she be granted beauty and yet not

Beauty to make a stranger's eye distraught,

Or hers before a looking-glass, for such,

Being made beautiful overmuch,

Consider beauty a sufficient end,

Lose natural kindness and maybe

The heart-revealing intimacy

That chooses right, and never find a friend.

Helen being chosen found life flat and dull

And later had much trouble from a fool,

While that great Queen, that rose out of the spray,

Being fatherless could have her way

Yet chose a bandy-legged smith for man.

It's certain that fine women eat

A crazy salad with their meat

Whereby the Horn of plenty is undone.

In courtesy I'd have her chiefly learned;

Hearts are not had as a gift but hearts are earned

By those that are not entirely beautiful;

Yet many, that have played the fool

For beauty's very self, has charm made wisc.

And many a poor man that has roved,

Loved and thought himself beloved,

From a glad kindness cannot take his eyes.

May she become a flourishing hidden tree

That all her thoughts may like the linnet be,

And have no business but dispensing round

Their magnanimities of sound,

Nor but in merriment begin a chase,

Nor but in merriment a quarrel.

O may she live like some green laurel

Rooted in one dear perpetual place.

My mind, because the minds that I have loved,

The sort of beauty that I have approved,

Prosper but little, has dried up of late,

Yet knows that to be choked with hate

May well be of all evil chances chief.

If there's no hatred in a mind

Assault and battery of the wind

Can never tear the linnet from the leaf.

An intellectual hatred is the worst,

So let her think opinions are accursed.

Have I not seen the loveliest woman born

Out of the mouth of plenty's horn,

Because of her opinionated mind

Barter that horn and every good

By quiet natures understood

For an old bellows full of angry wind?

Considering that, all hatred driven hence,

The soul recovers radical innocence

And learns at last that it is self-delighting,

Self-appeasing, self-affrighting,

And that its own sweet will is Heaven's will;

She can, though every face should scowl

And every windy quarter howl

Or every bellows burst, be happy Still.

And may her bridegroom bring her to a house

Where all's accustomed, ceremonious;

For arrogance and hatred are the wares

Peddled in the thoroughfares.

How but in custom and in ceremony

Are innocence and beauty born?

Ceremony's a name for the rich horn,

And custom for the spreading laurel tree.










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

.: :.

This poem is a lovely poem.Its very touching as to how Yeats says a prayer for his daughter.It also depicts parents feelings about their daughters today in the modern world.

| Posted on 2013-09-22 | by a guest


.: :.

in the 4th paragraph, Yeats refers to a bandy-legged smith, who is Aphrodites crippled husband, who shouldnt have received a qoman of such beauty;ie-Aphrodite the goddess of Love.
Also, he speaks of helen of Troy, who left her husband Menelaus for paris, starting a war between Troy and sparta. The \'trouble\' refers to this war.
He says that gorgeous women choose unworthy and undeserving husbands for their beauty. He says, that woman surely do make rather foolish choices in their lives.

| Posted on 2012-08-05 | by a guest


.: :.

This poem is a beautiful representation of a father`s feelings towards her daughter who is infant but her father is still feeling fear for her future because of the time which was going on in the poet`s land.Here reader can see the possessiveness of the father as well for his daughter.The whole poem is about the wish of a father for his daughter that he wanted her to be like a Pearl who remains beautiful but always live inside its shell and when the shell opens its light embraces the world and give it the brightness like the shining sun on the sky who spread its warmth and serve the world with its light and shine.He wished to make her the complete person beautiful from inside and outside both.

| Posted on 2011-11-23 | by a guest


.: :.

Yeats prays that his infant daughter will be protected from life\'s storms. His mind pictures his daughter in the future as a young woman embodying the values that he cherishes. She rises as a civilized creature from an uncivilized environment. He wants her to have beauty, but not so much as to make others obsessed with her or create vanity within herself. He doesn\'t want her to have a marriage that provides materially, but leaves her with a peculiar,foolish mate or dull life. He wants her to learn that love can be earned with kindness by those less beautiful. He wants her to be stable and private developing normally according to her age, sex, and season in life. (A linnet is a common finch having plummage that varies according to age, sex, and season.) He wants her to not tease or quarrel for entertainment. He wants her to be rooted in the same social class of her family. He reviews his past loves determining that love can turn to hate, and he wants his daughter to be free of hate which will tear her down. He thinks that an intellectual hate is the worst having seen his lovely woman turn into an opinionated angry blowing wind. He does not want this to happen to his daughter. He wants her to have no opinions unless they coincide with his opinions. He wants her to have a quiet nature, no hatred, and positive self-esteem. He believes that she can withstand all the scowls and storms in life and obtain happiness with these traits. He wants her husband to be of the same social class following the same ceremonies and customs as his daughter.
HEMRAJ VERMA

| Posted on 2011-10-14 | by a guest


.: :.

In the beginning, Yeats talks about the storm having commenced brewing in the seas. Between his newly born daughter and the sea, there stand a bare hill and Gregory\'s woods which might not thwart the storm from reaching the helpless infant. The father is naturally worried as he senses the gale striking the tower and the undersides of the bridges. To his mind, the storm presages the future of her daughter having arrived with a rage, mounting from the seeming innocence of the sea. As a father, the poet wishes beauty for her daughter but not such voluptuousness that would engross others to distraction or make her vain.
He does not want her daughter to be bereft of kindness nor does he want her to fail in choosing the persons with whom she will be friendly. The father shudders at the thought of her daughter\'s turning to be another Helen of Troy, who couldn\'t help being unfaithful as she was so beautiful. Some lovely women like the queen who had not had her father imposing useful restraints upon her, chose an ordinary smith with warped legs, instead of marrying a handsome yet virtuous man matching her handsome looks and social standing. It is strange how exquisitely beautiful women often choose \'a crazy salad\' (an undeserving husband) to go \'with their meat\' (rich food or their great beauty).
His daughter should realize that she should be deserving of winning human hearts. She should not be like those crafty women who employ their charms to use people to their advantage. It is true that men fall head over heels for stunning females but it is really the compassion of the women which they get enamored by in the end. The father in the poet is keen that her daughter should be like a tree giving succour and shade to people when she grows up and her feelings should be like the sweet song of the linnet that spreads joy for the sake of doing so. It is very likely that she will sometime desire something intensely in a wrong spirit or engage in some strife at times but let them be transient and not very serious. Let her be like an evergreen tree; let her send her roots into the depth of her good convictions standing at the same place.
The poet is rueful that his running after the people he liked or the kind of gorgeousness that he was infatuated with, could not satiate him as he wanted and that he is weary of all the barrenness that has enveloped him now. He seems to get momentarily confused as to what could be the right sort of beauty. He has however no hatred toward anyone as he is absolutely sure that it is the worst kind of malevolence that could poison his life. He wants her daughter also to learn this truth before she allows her to be ruled by the negative force of hatred because such a mindset will save her from inviting harsh criticism or abuses being showered upon her. The poet would not like her daughter to be self-opinionated as that could lead her to practising intellectual loathing which the poet considers to be the worst kind of malady in a human being.
He recollects coming in close contact with a beautiful and accomplished woman who had to give away everything by being strongly biased. The truth rings clearly in the poet\'s mind that by removing all hatred from one\'s mind, the soul not only regains its innocence but also embarks on the journey of delighting in itself. Since the spirit of the soul is the will of God, he fervently prays that his daughter should be able to discover her soul and be happy in the face of any storm or disapproval. And finally, as a father, he hopes that she will be betrothed to a man who has for ever steered away from detestation and arrogance which is so common everywhere. Let the house of her husband be comfortable and secure but not at the expense of anyone.
Article Source: x

| Posted on 2011-08-15 | by a guest


.: :.

Poem has been well described...it is in easy language & well understood...!!

| Posted on 2011-02-10 | by a guest


.: :.

yeats has very deliberataly described his worries for his daughter through natural elements such as storm.This also describes the present condition of Ireland as to which time she will grow up in.he is very particular while talking about beauty.he wants his daughter to be beautiful and she should also have all types of social manners and courtsies found in a female.he wants her to be happy throughout life .

| Posted on 2010-09-14 | by a guest


.: :.

The poem is basically centered around his thoughts on what his daughter will be like as she grows up. He builds on the hope that she is beautiful but not so beatiful that men only like her for her beauty ("May she be granted beauty and yet not Beauty to make a stranger's eye distraught"). He also doesn't want her to be so beautiful that she becomes conceited and obsessed with herself ("Or hers before a looking-glass, for such, Being made beautiful overmuch,Consider beauty a sufficient end). He also doesn't want her to be so beautiful that she has no friends because all girls envy her and dislike her aforementioned conceit ("Lose natural kindness and maybe The heart-revealing intimacy
That chooses right, and never find a friend.")
Hope that helps. We didn't even read it in brit lit this year (10th grade) but I love Yeats and read it on my own. :D

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


.: :.

CONCLUSION the poet-Keats describes the horn of plenty not as treasure but as nuturing and enforcing force which is providing the innocent with value and virtues. He also talks about the laurel tree-a symbol of strength and majesty .daffne who was being chased by apollo became a laurel tree to escape from him. These two images deal with the question of how to save the innocent from the storm raging outside. Keats balances his apocalyptic vision with survival. Thus i feel this is more of a prayer tha a poem as it is not meant only for his daughter but also for all peace loving people hoping for a better world were tradition,custom and ceremony is promoted instead of war hatred and destruction.

| Posted on 2010-03-21 | by a guest


.: :.

I get an impression that Yeats is expressing his hope that his daugter lives her life in virtue. Her beauty will be a pure beauty from the inside out and as life challenges he hopes she maintains such purity. He is firm and experienced when he says "hearts are earned" and yet soft and nurturing when he says "may all her thoughts like the linnet be". His most profound (historically) experience is that of his relation to Maud Gonne. Gonne was a radical and opinionated woman and was the romantic muse for Yeats. What his relationship with Gonne was he never hopes for his daughter. And I do agree with the young students who compared his prayers for his daughter to prayers for Ireland. Ireland .... pure and rooted and to be preserved devoid of any foreign ceremony.

| Posted on 2009-11-06 | by a guest


.: :.

Willima Butler Yeats' internal struggles about his daughter's life is represented by the storm. He wants his daughter to be beautiful, yet he is afraid of all the down falls that beauty may bring to his daughter.

| Posted on 2009-03-04 | by a guest


.: Meaning :.

My 6th grade class saw this as a representation of the times of Ireland trying to gain its independence from England. We see the storm as being England and the queen. We see his daugther as being the country of Ireland. I thought this was an interesting aspect from the mind of a 12 year old.

| Posted on 2007-03-07 | by a guest


.: :.

In this poem we see yeats in the role of an anxious father brooding over his young daughter's future. the storm that howls outside is symbolic of the turbulent times in which Yeats lived. The future to Yeats is an apocalyptic vision. Yeats wants his daughter to inherit the traits and and a character that would allow her to lead a complete and fulfilling life in the world. he wants her to be beautiful but not overly so. An excess of beauty is rather a curse than a blessing because not only does it deceive those who look upon it but also its possesor. Yeats cites the example of Helen of Troy and of Aphrodite(Venus) to drive in this point.


| Posted on 2006-03-27 | by Approved Guest


.: :.

Yeats prays that his infant daughter will be protected from life's storms. His mind pictures his daughter in the future as a young woman embodying the values that he cherishes. She rises as a civilized creature from an uncivilized environment. He wants her to have beauty, but not so much as to make others obsessed with her or create vanity within herself. He doesn't want her to have a marriage that provides materially, but leaves her with a peculiar,foolish mate or dull life. He wants her to learn that love can be earned with kindness by those less beautiful. He wants her to be stable and private developing normally according to her age, sex, and season in life. (A linnet is a common finch having plummage that varies according to age, sex, and season.) He wants her to not tease or quarrel for entertainment. He wants her to be rooted in the same social class of her family. He reviews his past loves determining that love can turn to hate, and he wants his daughter to be free of hate which will tear her down. He thinks that an intellectual hate is the worst having seen his lovely woman turn into an opinionated angry blowing wind. He does not want this to happen to his daughter. He wants her to have no opinions unless they coincide with his opinions. He wants her to have a quiet nature, no hatred, and positive self-esteem. He believes that she can withstand all the scowls and storms in life and obtain happiness with these traits. He wants her husband to be of the same social class following the same ceremonies and customs as his daughter.

| Posted on 2004-09-21 | by Approved Guest




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