Yeats An Irish Airman Foresees His Death

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An Irish Airman Foresees His Death
1. `I know that I shall meet my fate / Somewhere among the clouds above'
a. Sense of certainty
b. Fate means death
c. The speaker is Gregory
d. He is not in the plane, but knows when he will be he will die
2. `Those that I fight I do not hate / those that I guard I do not love'
a. He doesn't hate the Germans
b. He doesn't love the English
c. Why is he in the war?
3. `My country is Kiltartan Cross / My countrymen Kiltartan's poor / No
likely end could bring them loss / Or leave them happier than before'
a. Kiltartan is a place in Ireland
i. Home to Lady Gregory
1. Yeats close friend
2. Lived in Coole Park
3. Gregory's mother
b. He feels more Kiltartan than he does Irish
i. The local is more important than the national
c. He is saying that no likely outcome will effect the people of
i. Everyone will be just the same
ii. So why is he fighting?
iii. Saying the war is pointless
iv. But surely the loss of one of their residents will cause them
4. `Nor law, no duty bad me fight / Nor public man, nor cheering crowds'
a. He did not join for the normal reasons
b. The law didn't force him neither did his sense of duty
c. No public man or crows made him fight... so what did?
5. `A lonely impulse of delight / Drove to this tumult in the crowds'
a. He did it for the delight- some crazy impulse
b. It wasn't thought out, it was a hasty decision
c. The impulse calls for duty
d. He is driven by the pleasure he feels when he thinks about signing
up for the army
6. `I balanced all, brought all to mind / The years to come seemed waste of
a. He weighed the pros and cons and thought it all out
b. He decided that life would be a waste if he didn't join
c. So if he joins, his life is worth something
i. He wants to die a hero
7. `A waste of breath the years behind / In balance with this life, this is death'
a. Past and future are pointless when compared to something else
i. E.g. life and death as a war hero
b. He is being sarcastic
i. He knows dying in a battle is not all that great
and he knows everything is not a waste


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