W.B.Yeats – ‘The Wild Swans at Coole’

‘The Wild Swans at Coole’ is a poem that centrally reflects the attitudes, thoughts and feelings that Yeats has throughout the poem at the age of 51 at which age the poem was written. Yeats shows his own life through the presentation of the images of swans, emphasis is attracted to how completely opposite the swans are compared to Yeats. The swans have each other, a lifelong partner where Yeats feels lonely as he has no partner and no children.
The poem generally as a sorrowful and sombre tone, he feels completely alone – Maude Gonne has rejected him again and he now starts to question life, it’s meaning and his ‘place’. The swans can be seem as symbolic for different stages of his life, specifically his past with comparisons to ‘The Fisherman’ and ‘An Irishman foresees his death’ he feels philosophical to how he felt then when he had ideals on how his life was to be led. He feels differently now and he freely reflects on his life and how he wants what the swans essentially have.
The poem is written in the present tense specific emphasis is on his loneliness on age and the idea of time running out or how there is something in his life that is unfinished. ‘Twilight’ is a significant word that is often used in relation to this statement. With the representation of the ending of the day and the possible ending of his life, as though time is running out for him.


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