Go back to the Yeats page for more texts and other resources.

Symbolism in Yeats' poetry

The notion of symbolism in (sailing to byzantium + byzantium +the second coming )

It is noteworthy to state the fact that the influence of symbolism is too vast on later movements . The experimental techniques devised by these poets enriched the technical repertoire of modernism , particularly the works of W B Yeats . All symbolists tend to support the idea of a connection between the idea of first , consciousness and the outer world and second , nature and the spiritual world . IN this context yeats greatly admired Charles Baudelaire and regarded him as a pivotal figure for the style .

In essence , symbolism is difficult to define . Yeats was first introduced to the doctrine of symbolism by his friend Arthur Symons . This instruction gave elaborate form to his verse . Symbols come to stand for the poet's emotion and , in every way serve to make more complex the poems written . In addition , they are able to facilitate a certain movement from the divine life to the outer counterpart . In the light of the two byzantium poems and the second coming , symbolism is the elemental vehicle yeats employs to enhance those poems . Yeats idealizes byzantium as a symbol of unity in spiritual and everyday life . Another symbol that carries throughtout the poems is that of a bird . Yeats uses the image of a bird 'set upon a golden bough to sing' to refer to the timlessness and spirit he craves . In the same way that the bird is there forever , singing for all time , Yeats longs to be able to sing similarly through his poetry .

In his 1901 essay 'Magic' , yeats writes :"I can not now think symbols less than the greatest of all powers , whether they are used consciously by the masters of magic , or half-unconsciously by their successors , the poet the musician and the artist ." What is more , there is a tendency to say that Yeats was primarily influnced by Blake into the use of symbols as well . Within the framework of the two byzantium poems , the fish , flower and young lovers images are apparently used by yeats to describe the transience of the physical world he is living in . The symbol of music runs throughout yeats poetry , providing a motif between the eternal world he yearns for and the ephemeral counterpart . This device was extracted from the symbolists to emphasize the utterance of the sound in the verse .

To make a long story short , Yeats dexterously highlights the technique of symbolism to enhance his poetry . A thing which helped his works gain an unprecedented irradiance among modern poets .

Authors | Quotes | Digests | Submit | Interact | Store

Copyright © Classics Network. Contact Us