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Yeats Revision

KEY:
Nationalism/Irish concerns Mythology
Nature/Idylls The past / Nostalgia
Life and Death Youth and Age
Love Disintegration / Loss / Sudden Change / Chaos
Body and Soul Art

The Stolen Child
A metaphor for the return to innocence, which is characterised by childhood
Yeats desired to write poetry…

Page 2

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o The final stanza describes the child `solemn-eyed'. `He'll hear no more the lowing / Of
the calves on the warm hillside / Or the kettle on the hob / Sing peace into his
breast' ­ removal from comfort. Potentially moving from the romantic notions of Ireland
to the enchanting…

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o Wolfe Tone ­ founded the united Irishmen. Left Ireland, went to france from the US and
led a French force to Ireland. Captured and sentenced to death but commit suicide in
prison ­ cheated the hangman/English. Considered a romantic death ­ martyrdom

The Cold Heaven
Ambiguous poem- suggests enlightenment…

Page 4

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o The ghost begins to quicken ­ comes alive, after death. Questions what happens ­ use
of rhetorical question to end the poem. Uncertainty of the afterlife
Context
o Published in 1914 at the start of WWI ­ the destruction and punishment he depicts could
be related to this?

The…

Page 5

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Loss / disintegration / destruction
o Among what rushes will they build, / By what lake's edge or pool / Delight men's
eyes when I awake some day / To find they have flown away? - Use of a rhetorical
question relating to the loss of the swans indicates a…

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above carry traditional associations of dreaming and sublime transcendence, in flying we
move to a realm beyond?
o The only caesura is on line before the ending two words `this death' ­ emphasising the
death and the balance to the rest of the poem ­ his life. Alternatively it could…

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o Contrast between the wise and simple and freckled fisherman and the description of
the reality of the Irish people that Yeats observes ­ insolent/knave/drunken.
Demonstrates the disparity between the romantic ideal (of the past ­ nostalgia ­ link to
September 1913) and the reality.

Broken Dreams
The varying length…

Page 8

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o Spun around like a top- infantilises the moon, indicative of youth
o Two close kindred meet/taken a new phase/pass from change to change - Emblems
of self and anti self, or of body and soul as reciprocal and coordinated as the cat and the
moon. The cat is the…

Page 9

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oBeing certain that they and I / But lived where motley is worn- add to the fact that each
citizen, like Yeats, is well aware that they share a common identity, but the use of `motley'
(the chequered outfit worn by jesters) suggests that the idyll they all dream of…

Page 10

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threshold of an apocalyptic revelation­ the end of this cycle that began with the birth of
Christ, what comes now?
o Drowned/blood-dimmed/desert birds- images of death, impending horror and death.
Apocalyptic
o Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold/ Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world ­
disintegration of society,…

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