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'An Irish airman foresees his death' and 'Wild swans at Coole'

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W.B. Yeats's 'An Irish airman foresees his death' and 'Wild swans at Coole' William Butler Yeats (1865-1939) was born in Dublin. His father was a lawyer and a well-known portrait painter. Yeats was educated in London and in Dublin, but he spent his summers in the west of Ireland in the family's summerhouse at Connaught. So of his poems included title such as The tower (1928), The rose (1893), The wind among the reeds (1899) and Responsibilities (1914), But I am going to describe how Yeats expresses deep personal feelings and create a strong personal atmosphere in 'An Irish airman' and 'Wild swans at Coole'. Firstly I am going to talk about 'An Irish Airman'. This poem is about an airman who may well be identified with Major Gregory who was the son of lady Gregory who was one of Yeats's friends. Her son was killed in the war. He was a pilot, which was extremely dangerous in world war 1 for many reasons, one of which was the fighter planes that they used had wooden frames and this meant they could be easily damaged by the enemy machine gun fire in the fights that happened up in the skies (dogfights). ...read more.


Normal life means little to the airman and this is show in the words 'this' and 'years', He only lives life in the present. The past... well the past is history and doesn't matter anymore nor does the future as he has no ambition. Now I am going to write about the 'Wild swans at Coole'. The narrator/poet appears to have been happier in his earlier life because he now appears to have no human company. Only the beautiful, elegant swans remain to be his 'companions' but they too will leave him alone one day and fly away. This poem is set in County Sligo, which was the home of Yeats friend lady Gregory. Yeats at the time of visiting Coole had been in love with a woman called Maud Gonne who Yeats proposed to and she turned him. She married a man who was later shot. Yeats then proposed for a second time but also was turned down again. This poem may be about the sadness he went through when Maud Gonne twice rejected him even though he did marry a year later to Hyde-Lees. Firstly the poem talks about the peaceful, calm, tranquil scene in the autumn. ...read more.


In the end he will only have the memories of the swans and may soon die himself. The poet is sad about the fact that he knows that one day the swans will leave him on his own again and desert him. He also feels sadness for the swans, one in particular because there are 59 of them which means they will all have a partner except one, which in many ways is like him, alone, companionless and sad. There is nothing he can do but wait for it to happen, as he knows it will. The only thing he will have left will be his memories of the swans and like wise of the woman he used to love. This poem is very autobiographical and shows the sadness and loss of his one true love Maud Gonne who did not and will not return to his life. So this poem and the other deal with a lonely man. However the airman enjoys loneliness and is content to die, whereas the poet in 'Wild swans at Coole' does not want to die unhappy. John Gordon GCSE English Page 1 of 4 Matt Vinall 00:44 03/05/07 ...read more.

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