'Nineteen Hundred And Nineteen' by William Butler Yeats
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MANY ingenious lovely things are gone
That seemed sheer miracle to the multitude,
protected from the circle of the moon
That pitches common things about.There stood
Amid the ornamental bronze and stone
An ancient image made of olive wood --
And gone are phidias' famous ivories
And all the golden grasshoppers and bees.
We too had many pretty toys when young:
A law indifferent to blame or praise,
To bribe or threat; habits that made old wrong
Melt down, as it were wax in the sun's rays;
Public opinion ripening for so long
We thought it would outlive all future days.
O what fine thought we had because we thought
That the worst rogues and rascals had died out.
All teeth were drawn, all ancient tricks unlearned,
And a great army but a showy thing;
What matter that no cannon had been turned
Into a ploughshare? Parliament and king
Thought that unless a little powder burned
The trumpeters might burst with trumpeting
And yet it lack all glory; and perchance
The guardsmen's drowsy chargers would not prance.
Now days are dragon-ridden, the nightmare
Rides upon sleep:a drunken soldiery
Can leave the mother, murdered at her door,
To crawl in her own blood, and go scot-free;
The night can sweat with terror as before
We pieced our thoughts into philosophy,
And planned to bring the world under a rule,
Who are but weasels fighting in a hole.
He who can read the signs nor sink unmanned
Into the half-deceit of some intoxicant
From shallow wits; who knows no work can stand,
Whether health, wealth or peace of mind were spent
On master-work of intellect or hand,
No honour leave its mighty monument,
Has but one comfort left:all triumph would
But break upon his ghostly solitude.
But is there any comfort to be found?
Man is in love and loves what vanishes,
What more is there to say? That country round
None dared admit, if Such a thought were his,
Incendiary or bigot could be found
To burn that stump on the Acropolis,
Or break in bits the famous ivories
Or traffic in the grasshoppers or bees.
When Loie Fuller's Chinese dancers enwound
A shining web, a floating ribbon of cloth,
It seemed that a dragon of air
Had fallen among dancers, had whirled them round
Or hurried them off on its own furious path;
So the platonic Year
Whirls out new right and wrong,
Whirls in the old instead;
All men are dancers and their tread
Goes to the barbarous clangour of a gong.
Some moralist or mythological poet
Compares the solitary soul to a swan;
I am satisfied with that,
Satisfied if a troubled mirror show it,
Before that brief gleam of its life be gone,
An image of its state;
The wings half spread for flight,
The breast thrust out in pride
Whether to play, or to ride
Those winds that clamour of approaching night.
A man in his own secret meditation
Is lost amid the labyrinth that he has made
In art or politics;
Some platonist affirms that in the station
Where we should cast off body and trade
The ancient habit sticks,
And that if our works could
But vanish with our breath
That were a lucky death,
For triumph can but mar our solitude.
The swan has leaped into the desolate heaven:
That image can bring wildness, bring a rage
To end all things, to end
What my laborious life imagined, even
The half-imagined, the half-written page;
O but we dreamed to mend
Whatever mischief seemed
To afflict mankind, but now
That winds of winter blow
Learn that we were crack-pated when we dreamed.
We, who seven yeats ago
Talked of honour and of truth,
Shriek with pleasure if we show
The weasel's twist, the weasel's tooth.
Come let us mock at the great
That had such burdens on the mind
And toiled so hard and late
To leave some monument behind,
Nor thought of the levelling wind.
Come let us mock at the wise;
With all those calendars whereon
They fixed old aching eyes,
They never saw how seasons run,
And now but gape at the sun.
Come let us mock at the good
That fancied goodness might be gay,
And sick of solitude
Might proclaim a holiday:
Wind shrieked -- and where are they?
Mock mockers after that
That would not lift a hand maybe
To help good, wise or great
To bar that foul storm out, for we
Traffic in mockery.
Violence upon the roads:violence of horses;
Some few have handsome riders, are garlanded
On delicate sensitive ear or tossing mane,
But wearied running round and round in their courses
All break and vanish, and evil gathers head:
Herodias' daughters have returned again,
A sudden blast of dusty wind and after
Thunder of feet, tumult of images,
Their purpose in the labyrinth of the wind;
And should some crazy hand dare touch a daughter
All turn with amorous cries, or angry cries,
According to the wind, for all are blind.
But now wind drops, dust settles; thereupon
There lurches past, his great eyes without thought
Under the shadow of stupid straw-pale locks,
That insolent fiend Robert Artisson
To whom the love-lorn Lady Kyteler brought
Bronzed peacock feathers, red combs of her cocks.
Editor 1 Interpretation
Nineteen Hundred And Nineteen: A Literary Masterpiece by Yeats
Have you ever read a poem that left you in awe and admiration? Nineteen Hundred and Nineteen by William Butler Yeats is one such poem. This literary masterpiece is a complex poem, a poetic journey that explores the timeless themes of war, chaos, and the human condition. The poem is a lamentation of the condition of Ireland and the world after the First World War. In this literary criticism and interpretation, we will explore the structure, language, and themes of the Nineteen Hundred and Nineteen poem.
Yeats's Nineteen Hundred and Nineteen is composed of three parts that flow seamlessly to create a unified poem. The first part, which consists of 25 lines, presents a vivid picture of the world after the First World War. Yeats describes the world as being in chaos, where "mere anarchy is loosed upon the world" (line 3). The second part, which consists of 33 lines, is a reflection on the condition of Ireland after the Easter Rising of 1916. The third part, which consists of 15 lines, is a prophecy of the coming of a new era, where a "terrible beauty" will be born (line 14).
The poem's structure is notable for its use of repetition, particularly in the first and second parts. In the first part, the repetition of the phrase "Things fall apart" (lines 1 and 7) anchors the poem's central theme of chaos and destruction. In the second part, the repetition of the phrase "Was it needless death after all?" (line 27) highlights the tragic nature of the Easter Rising and the loss of life that resulted from it.
Yeats's Nineteen Hundred and Nineteen is notable for its use of powerful imagery and figurative language. The first part of the poem is particularly striking in its use of vivid, apocalyptic imagery. Yeats describes the world as being in chaos, where "the centre cannot hold" (line 4) and "the best lack all conviction, while the worst are full of passionate intensity" (lines 7-8). The language is evocative, and the imagery creates a sense of impending doom.
The second part of the poem is more personal and introspective. Yeats reflects on the loss of life that resulted from the Easter Rising and the futility of violence as a means of achieving political goals. The language is more subdued, but still powerful. The repetition of the phrase "Was it needless death after all?" (line 27) creates a sense of regret and sorrow.
The third part of the poem is a prophetic vision of the future. Yeats predicts the birth of a "terrible beauty" (line 14), a new era that will be marked by a fusion of the old and the new. The language is more hopeful, and the imagery is more abstract, creating a sense of mystery and anticipation.
The themes of the Nineteen Hundred and Nineteen poem are timeless and universal. The central theme of the poem is chaos and destruction. Yeats describes a world that is in chaos, where "things fall apart" (lines 1 and 7) and the "centre cannot hold" (line 4). The imagery is apocalyptic, and the sense of impending doom is palpable.
Another theme of the poem is the futility of violence as a means of achieving political goals. Yeats reflects on the loss of life that resulted from the Easter Rising and wonders if it was all for nothing. The repetition of the phrase "Was it needless death after all?" (line 27) highlights the tragedy of violence and the senselessness of war.
The final theme of the poem is the hope for a new era. Yeats prophesies the birth of a "terrible beauty" (line 14), a new era that will be marked by a fusion of the old and the new. The language is hopeful, and the imagery is abstract, creating a sense of mystery and anticipation.
In conclusion, Nineteen Hundred and Nineteen by William Butler Yeats is a literary masterpiece that explores the timeless themes of chaos, destruction, and the human condition. The poem's structure, language, and themes are masterfully crafted, creating a powerful and evocative work. Yeats's use of imagery and figurative language is particularly striking, creating a sense of impending doom, regret, and hope. This poem is a testament to Yeats's skill as a poet and his ability to capture the essence of the human experience in his writing. If you haven't read this poem yet, I highly recommend it. It is a work of art that will leave you in awe and admiration.
Editor 2 Analysis and Explanation
Poetry Nineteen Hundred And Nineteen: A Masterpiece of William Butler Yeats
William Butler Yeats is one of the most celebrated poets of the 20th century. His works are known for their depth, complexity, and symbolism. One of his most famous poems is "Nineteen Hundred and Nineteen," which was written in the aftermath of World War I. This poem is a masterpiece that captures the essence of the time and the emotions of the people who lived through it.
The poem is divided into four parts, each of which explores a different aspect of the aftermath of the war. The first part is titled "Mournful and Never-ending Remembrance." This section sets the tone for the rest of the poem. It describes the devastation and destruction caused by the war and the sense of loss that people felt. Yeats uses vivid imagery to paint a picture of the aftermath of the war. He describes the "broken statues" and "shattered windows" that are left in the wake of the conflict. He also talks about the "ghosts" of the soldiers who died in the war, haunting the land and the people who survived.
The second part of the poem is titled "The Second Coming." This section is perhaps the most famous part of the poem. It describes the chaos and confusion that followed the war. Yeats uses the image of a "rough beast" to represent the forces of evil that are unleashed in the aftermath of the war. He talks about how the "centre cannot hold" and how "anarchy is loosed upon the world." This section is a powerful commentary on the state of the world after the war. It captures the sense of uncertainty and fear that people felt as they tried to make sense of the new world order.
The third part of the poem is titled "A Prayer for My Daughter." This section is a departure from the previous two sections. It is a personal reflection on Yeats' own life and his hopes for his daughter's future. He talks about the importance of beauty, truth, and goodness in the world. He also talks about the need for balance and harmony in life. This section is a beautiful reminder that even in the midst of chaos and destruction, there is still hope for a better future.
The final part of the poem is titled "The Wheel." This section brings the poem full circle. It talks about the cyclical nature of history and how the events of the past are destined to repeat themselves. Yeats uses the image of a "wheel" to represent the endless cycle of birth, death, and rebirth. He talks about how the "falcon cannot hear the falconer" and how "things fall apart." This section is a powerful reminder that history is not linear, and that the events of the past will continue to shape the future.
Overall, "Nineteen Hundred and Nineteen" is a masterpiece of modern poetry. It captures the essence of the time and the emotions of the people who lived through it. Yeats' use of vivid imagery and powerful symbolism creates a haunting and unforgettable portrait of a world in turmoil. The poem is a testament to the power of poetry to capture the human experience and to make sense of the world around us. It is a must-read for anyone interested in modern poetry or the history of the 20th century.
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