Sailing to Byzantium

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Sailing to Byzantium

·         Ottava Rima – ABABABCC. Classical structure, often used for romantic poems.

·         Mythology

o   The title of the collection from which ‘Sailing to Byzantium’ is taken is The Tower; the title may reference the Tower of Babel. This myth, originating in the Old Testament, recognises that even when people come together for good, a higher force can separate them. A combination of men built the tower, but God destroyed it because he did not like it, and then he divided up the people.

·         Love

o   Consume my heart away – indicates the painfulness of unrequited love?

·         Life and death

o   Born/dies- juxtaposition contrasts

o   ---Those dying generations--- - caesura places emphasis on ‘dying’, mortality of humans is emphasised.

o   That is no country for old men/ The young in one another’s arms/mackerel crowded seas/salmon falls/birds in the trees- abundance of life/youth. Contrasts with ‘those dying generations’. Almost shows a desire for death- that is no country for old men. Shows he doesn’t belong- better dead?

o   Gather me into the artifice of eternity/ I shall never take my bodily form from any natural thing - desire to be immortal, no longer live in a body but be a work of art

o   Fastened to a dying animal- negative portrayal of


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