The Cold Heaven
· Ambiguous poem- suggests enlightenment and revelation in life and punishment after death, shows an element of disillusionment
o It ends with a rhetorical question, similar to Leda and the Swan, Among Schoolchildren, and The Second Coming. Yeats does not provide answers through his poetry, only more questions.
· Made up of Alexandrines woven into free verse, reflecting order with chaos. By blending the two opposites Yeats reflects his own confusions about the afterlife.
· Enjambment ‘Suddenly I saw the cold and rook-delighting heaven/ That seemed as though ice burned and was but the more ice,’ the continuous flow of words seems like a stream-of-consciousness. It also reflects the rush of thought that is the result of a revelation
· Use of the word suddenly pitches the reader straight into the poem – in media res. Creates a sense of urgency.
· Life and death
o Ice burned/cold heaven/injustice of the skies- oxymoronic, how can heaven be cold/indifferent? It should be a place of warmth and love? Suggests heaven is not a just place, criticism. Negative view of the afterlife. Ice burned sounds torturous- both extremes of temperature simultaneously
o ‘rook-delighting’ – omen of death. This contrasts with heaven to make us even more confused as to how good or bad the afterlife is. …