The Cold Heaven

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  • The Cold Heaven
    • Context
      • Yeats is wondering about life after death and his confusion is reflected in the vagueness of the poem
    • Form
      • Alexandrines are woven into free verse to show Yeats' confusion and back up the motif of binary opposites
      • Enjambment to represent Yeats' stream of consciousness
      • "rocked to and fro" could also be getting at the form, which has a rocking rhythm because of the altering line lengths.
    • Binary opposites
      • "The cold Heaven"
      • "Ice burned"
      • "Rook-delighting heaven."
        • A rook is an omen of death, but a 'death-delighting heaven" does not seem likely.
    • Meaning
      • "Vanished, and left but memories," could be the idea of one's life flashing before their eyes
      • The "With hot blood of youth" line could be getting at things and affairs that Yeats regretted when he was younger.
      • "rocked to and fro" could also be getting at the form, which has a rocking rhythm because of the altering line lengths.
      • "out naked on the roads" could be getting at the fact that when you are dead, God knows all your secrets, so you are vulnerable and cannot hide.

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