Among School Children

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  • Created by: Amy
  • Created on: 07-05-15 14:06

First stanza = simple language - easy to understand - setting the scene. 

"The children learm to cipher and to sing,  -  To study reading-books and history,  -  To cut and sew, be neat in everything  -  In the best modern way -"

- awful, boring education - not arty, cultural, intellectual. 

- this is the modern way - wants a return to Romantic Ireland. 

- simple language reinforces boringness of education system. 

"- the children's eyes  -  In momentary wonder stare upon  -  A sixty year-old smiling public man."

- likes that they "wonder" at him - but it's only momentary - modest. 

- sixty year old - telling us his age - shows he's concerned with aging. 

2nd stanza

"I dream of a Ledaean body, bent  -"

- Ledeaen body = beautiful - Leda and the swan.

- Maud 

- lots of enjamebement - getting passionate/ carried away - sounds more beautiful - flows more. -

"a tale that she  - Told of a harsh reproof, or trivial event  -  That changed some childish day to tragedy"

- memories of Maud. 

- comforting her - cares about her so much that her being upset is a tragedy. 

"Told, and it seemed that our two natures blent  -  Into a sphere from youthful sympathy  -  Or else, to alter Plato's parable,  -  Into the yolk and white of the one shell."

- Plato's parable - have to find the other part of the egg to complete ourselves - perfect relationship.

- sphere is as perfect as we can get - close to what we once were.

- believes Maud is the other half of the egg.

3rd stanza

"And thinking of that fit of grief or rage"

- grief and rage over MAud's rejection or over Maud being upset by a harsh reproof.

- enjambement.

"I look upon one child t'other there  -  And wonder if she stood so at that age - "

- looking at the children brings back memories of Maud as a child. 

"For even daughters of the swan can share  -  Something of every paddler's heritage - "

- likening Maud to leda's children - v. beautiful but caused war and death.

- other children are only "something of EVERY paddler's heritage" - lowering them, raising Maud.

"And thereupon my heart is driven wild:  -  She stands before me as a living child."


- heart driven wild = Cold heaven - regretful - nightmarish - thinking of her produces similar feelings to that of the Cold Heaven.

- contrast to neatness and order of school.

4th stanza

"Her present image floats into the mind - Did Quattrocento finger fashion it"

- what she looks like now - old.

- Quattrocento = 15th century period of art - Leonardo de Vinci etc. - great artists producing beautiful figures…


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