The Cold Heaven - Poem Annotation

Poem annotation of W.B. Yeats' The Cold Heaven.

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  • Created on: 06-05-12 16:36
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The Cold Heaven
This poem, published in 1914, was inspired by strange sky patterns. In it, Yeats talks of heaven and
what may await there: exploring themes of death, religion and love. It is romantic in style: it focuses
on emotion, not reason.
It is made up of two Alexandrines: poetic meter comprising 12 syllables, that are woven into free
verse. This creates a contrast between chaos and simplicity, and conveys the speaker's fears about
the afterlife.
As if he has This
died: going oxymoronic
into heaven. imagery
Interestingly, adds a
Yeats confused
describes it tone to the
negatively: poem: and
`cold', as is emphasises
evident in the
the title. Ties negativity of
into the fear Yeats'
that Heaven portrayal.
would not be LINK: Yeats
what uses
humanity A Suddenly I saw the cold and rook-delighting heaven oxymoron
expects. B That seemed as though ice burned and was but the more ice, frequently in
Enjambment: A And thereupon imagination and heart were driven his poetry
creates the B So wild that every casual thought of that and this E.G. `a
rush-of-thou C Vanished, and left but memories, that should be out of terrible
ght stream D season beauty is
of C With the hot blood of youth, of love crossed long ago; born', in
consciousne D And I took all the blame out of all sense and reason, Easter 1916.
ss effect that E Until I cried and trembled and rocked to and fro, Compare:
accompanie F Riddled with light. Ah! When the ghost begins to quicken, `Broken
s this E Confusion of the death-bed over, is it sent Dreams':
revelation. F Out naked on the roads, as the books say, and stricken thematic link
Line length, By the injustice of the skies for punishment? between the
both the idea of love
number of continuing
stresses and An epiphany: or a cry of pain. on after
number of death and
characters, `vague
rock back memories,
and forth. nothing but
This reflects memories.'
the `reeling' CONTRAST:
of the Sailing to
atmosphere. Byzantium,
the skies are
a key to

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