There are two analytical interpretations of this poem within this article. He spent his childhood in County Sligo, where his parents were raised, and in London. It reflects the deep love Yeats had for all things Irish and is one of a number of song poems published in the book The Wind Among The Reeds, of As previously mentioned, this old mother has issues regarding her sexuality and her fertility, this is why there is such a strong comparison between the protagonists.
She will remember the people who had loved her grace and her beauty with either real or fake sentiments in the past, and also that one man who had loved her soul unconditionally as she grew old and the way she looked changed.
In the modern age, however, his works became more realistic and free from the mystic beliefs of his early years.
After an initial read, many see this poem as one that is filled with love, but the last stanza is dark; the speaker is reminding his former mistress that their love did not last, and this is something she should regret for the rest of her life.
The Song of the Old Mother I rise in the dawn, and I kneel and blow Till the seed of the fire flicker and glow; And then I must scrub and bake and sweep Till stars are beginning to blink and peep; And the young lie long and dream in their bed Of the matching of ribbons for bosom and head, And their days go over in idleness, And they sigh if the wind but lift a tress: W B Yeats In When You Are Old he invites her to cast her mind forward to a time when she is old and grey; to a time when she is no longer the glamorous actress but a frail old woman nodding by the fire.
In the final stanza, the speaker tells his former lover that she should remember that this love did not last, and she should be filled with regret because of it. This, coupled with the steady rhyme scheme, lends a sing-song quality to the poem.
Yeats himself would go on to marry, but many see When You Are Old as a poem highlighting the failed relationship with Gonne. Some years later he met up with the young American modernist Ezra Pound, who encouraged him to adopt new ways of poetic structure with leaner language.
Repetition Repeating words and phrases helps reinforce ideas and introduces echoes. For example, note the use of the word seed in the context of the fire.
Though Yeats never learned Gaelic himself, his writing at the turn of the century drew extensively from sources in Irish mythology and folklore.
It seems to be an attempt by Yeats to warn Gonne what life could be like if she rejects his pure and genuine love for her and instead turns to what he sees as the less genuine love of others.
While I must work Line This man loved her truly and unconditionally. Although When You Are Old is specifically about Yeats and Gonne, it works perfectly well if it is interpreted as being about any young couple looking forward to what the future may hold. The second line contains a trochee foot, an inverted iamb, which brings a natural slight pause between fire and flicker.
There are is a strong contrast between the older working woman, who is perhaps only concerned with work, and is inactive sexually, and the younger ones in their bed, with mere concerns for their appearance and their strong romantic dreams. Yeats seems to be telling his lover that while his love for her will always remain, she will be unable to reach it, as one is unable to reach into the heavens and pluck out a star.
The line also suggests the reverence the speaker feels for the beloved. However, it should be noted that Maud Gonne, like Yeats, was seen as a political figure in Ireland. Though she married another man in and grew apart from Yeats and Yeats himself was eventually married to another woman, Georgie Hyde Leesshe remained a powerful figure in his poetry.
However one interprets that line, it is safe to say that the speaker is telling his lover that he loved her to the very depths of her soul.When You Are Old by W B Yeats, a poem analysis On this page we would like to offer an analysis of When You are Old, a famous Irish poem written by William Butler Yeats for Maude Gonne.
First, we will offer some relevant and helpful background information. When You Are Old - When you are old and grey and full of sleep, When you are old and grey and full of sleep, When you are old and grey and full of sleep, W.
B. Yeats was awarded the Nobel Prize in and died in at the age of seventy-three. Selected Bibliography. The Collected Poems of W. B.
Yeats (Macmillan, ) The Poetical Works. When you are old and grey and full of sleep, When you are old and grey and full of sleep, Skip to Content. Show Menu Poetry Foundation. Poems.
Poems Home; Poems for Children; Poems for Teens When You Are Old By William Butler Yeats About this Poet William Butler Yeats is widely considered to be one of the greatest poets of the 20th century. Poets with initals U to Z Poets with initials W William Butler Yeats When You are Old Analysis and Summary by mint-body.com By Madhupriya Roychowdhury Last updated Jan 30, Apr 28, · The Song of the Old Mother is a single stanza, short rhyming poem made up of five couplets.
It reflects the deep love Yeats had for all things Irish and is one of a number of song poems published in the book The Wind Among The Reeds, of W.B. Yeats was 34 Reviews: 2. Poems of W.B. Yeats: The Rose study guide contains a biography of William Butler Yeats, literature essays, quiz questions, major themes, characters, and a full summary and analysis.
Murmur to yourself sadly about how Love paced on the mountains and hid his face in stars as you grew old. Analysis.Download