„Yeats’ creative use of language and imagery highlights the profound ideas expressed in his poetry”
I would agree with the above statement. Yeats’ creative use of language and imagery highlights the profound ideas expressed in his poetry. I believe the function of all good poetry is to engage the reader’s higher faculties and to stimulate further thought and Yeats’ poetry does just that!
‘An Irish Airman Foresees his death’ is an interesting poem because the speaker is not Yeats, but Robert Gregory. The theme of this poem is the pursuit of a dream. The language used is direct and conversational. In lines five and six, there are six words that start with a hard ‘c’ or ‘k’ sound, ’My country is Kiltartan Cross, My countrymen Kiltartans poor’. This makes the speakers voice sound strong at this point, where he is asserting his true loyalty.
When the speaker refers to the past and future as a ‘waste of breath’ his tone becomes hateful or contemptuous. The repeated ‘ea’ sounds of the last three lines reinforce the speaker’s tone of contempt. The‘s’ sounds in the last four lines give the final words of the poem an intimate feeling, ‘A waste of breath the years behind, In balance with this life, this death’.
The central impulse behind the poem “September 1913’ is the disagreement of the present by setting it in opposition to a romanticized past. As always with Yeats, there is contrast. This is provided by the unselfish, patriotic heroes of the past, who were prepared to die for the freedom of their country. ‘September 1913’ is constructed around the tension between the avancious, selfish and materialistic Ireland he saw around him and the ideal Ireland he considered was no longer there.
The speaker of the poem speaks directly to the merchant. The language is empty and shallow: ‘You have dried the marrow from the bone?’ The speaker is asking the people he despises: ‘What else after all, were men born for?’ The rhetoric is all the more effective for its...