PoetryW.B. Yeats

For W.B. Yeats; What is Truth in Human Life?

3 Mins read

The later poetry of William Butler Yeats is especially characterised by a stark, bare, brutal and even coarse fact concerning the fragmentation of contemporary human life. His poetry displays the conflict of opposites. Yeats saw man as torn in battle. For him, the human existence is made up of antinomies: the religious and the physical, the sensuous and the inventive, the past and the present, the non-public and the impersonal, physical decay and mental maturity. These conflicts are ever there in Yeats’ poetry.

For Yeats, the modern civilization has made our basic consciousness of ourselves so blunt that we’ve not been in a position to differentiate between our personal internal voice and the rationale. The rise of democracy and mob violence which he witnessed in Ireland and Europe didn’t enchant to him. He felt that these occasions mirrored a brutalization of humanity. In A Prayer for My Daughter, he needs that his daughter ought to stay freed from “intellectual hatred” which has corrupted beauty and innocence. In means of glorifying the beliefs of democracy, Yeats spoke in opposition to it, or relatively in opposition to the form it was assumed within the civilization around him.

Yeats was not over-impressed by the scientific progress made by modern man. He foresaw the destruction and chaos looming massive before his eyes. The sordid and customary life led by the folks, their creativeness and spirit blunted and barren have disgusted Yeats. This view of the Irish folks turns into a statement of common validity within the twentieth century-the fact of which may, in fact, is unpalatable and unpopular. In Easter 1916, Yeats celebrates the transformation of the Irish folks underneath the spell of violence. For once, they “resigned their parts in the causal comedy”-a girl who spent her days in “ignorant good-will” and “her nights in argument”, and the “drunken vainglorious lout” had been reworked. “A terrible beauty is born” the sordidness has been discarded to indicate vitality and a spirit of independence. But, Yeats raised hidden, however bitter fact and questioned on the martyrdom of the rebels “needless death after all”? However, unpopular, Yeats doesn’t worry the reality.

Read About: W.B. Yeats as a Symbolist

The evil fragmentation of our civilization is greatly expressed in The Second Coming. Yeats bluntly places the reality before us-“Things fall apart; the center cannot hold”, and “anarchy is loosed upon the world”. The fragmentation in our lives could cause dysfunction and corruption. The good people, sadly lack conviction, whereas the bad pursue their depraved ends with passionate depth. The falcon, the image of mental power, has obtained freed from the management of the falconer, who represents the center or soul. In different words, the mind’s progress is directionless at these occasions, and separated from human intuition. In such a scenario, the future appears bleak-a brutal and savage power is about to take over. All this may need sounded pessimistic and definitely unappealing to his readers, however we can not deny the fundamental fact of his imaginative and prescient. In the situation, Yeats desires to hunt some type of magnificence and permanence beyond all of the ugliness, corruption and impurity. Thus, in his Sailing to Byzantium, the wish shouldn’t be merely to flee sensuality and mortality, but in addition the impurity and corruption of this world-the “complexities of mire and blood”. Byzantium presents the best world, freed from the “dissipations and despairs” of the modern world, and, representing the unity of all features of life. In Byzantium, there’s not one of the multiplicities, hate, strife or confusion which is peculiar to the on a regular basis life of women and men.

Read About: Question on “Among School Children”

The Byzantium poems bear out the rivalry that Yeats presents the clashing opposites of the human scenario “country-city, sensuality-intellectuality, dying-unageing, body-soul, flesh-spirit, holy-unholy”. We could not agree along with his approach of reconciling the opposites, however we’re totally aware of the fragmentation within the human being and society of in the present day. “Bodily decrepitude is wisdom; young/we loved each other and were ignorant”, Yeats says in one in every of his poems. He was all the time bewildered by the issue of the dissociation of power and knowledge-again a reality true to the human situation. As he questions in Leda and the Swan, are we totally conscious of the actions carried out or their significance? Man, for Yeats, was confronted with a fragmented life, unable to attain the unity of being, where all contradictions are resolved. Only art and philosophy conquer tragedy; solely knowledge can educate us the worth of tragic gaiety-that is his rejoinder to “hysterical women” who say that one thing “drastic” ought to be carried out. Byzantium to Yeats represented that time in history when “religious, aesthetic and practical life was one and architects and artificers spoke to the multitude and few alike.” All in all, Yeats’ poems present the reality concerning the human scenario and he doesn’t hesitate to make use of blunt and brutal phrases to specify it.

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