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W.B.Yeats: Writing Style & Poetry

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Updated: May 11th, 2020

Introduction

Each poem is very individual and unique. There are many types of rhythms, tones, language uses, and the general structure. Everyone reflects a particular feeling felt or thought of by the poet. It is a reflection of the personal philosophy, understanding of life, and others. This essay describes the writing style of William Butler Yeats. His poetic style is believed to be one of the most memorable ones that can be analyzed.

William Yeats is one of the key figures of the 20th-century literature. Born in the middle of the 19th century, he is still considered to be a modern and up-to-date poet. The biography of William B.Yeats is quite interesting. Having renounced the transcendental beliefs of his youth, in his later years Yeats turned out to become a politician. He served two terms as a Senator of the Irish Free State. Yates’ works gained recognition during his lifetime. In 1983, he got a Nobel Prize in Literature.

Yeats’ Poetic Style

Yeats’ famous poems feature a unique and very distinct poetic style. W. B. Yeats was a great poet who deserves a place among other famous artists. The specific characteristics of his type of poetry originality come from the spontaneous nature of the poem, and the use of alteration and substitution.

In the first one, spontaneity adds a surprise to the verse and leaves the reader wondering what will come next. As it is always a process of discovery, the poem becomes even more intriguing and unexpected. In the second method of writing, using alteration and substitution gives the ability to percept various meanings and concepts (Unterecker, 1996).

The writing style in Yeats’ poems was much different in the beginning, comparing to the later one. It is nostalgic, having a much laid back structure and appearance. It related more to the older language and the times when poems had a much different development level. After some time, Yeats’ style of writing changed and became more modernized. It gained many directions and became very precise and specific.

Whereas previously, his poetry was more “poetic,” it changed into being “to the point,” accurate and intense. Yeats’ poetic style provided very rhythmic and structured order and sounding. It was very vigorous and direct, which left no room for hesitation and interpretation.

The use of language in Yeats’ poems is very confident and passionate at the same time. The words are very definitive and have the power to draw attention and force understanding. The use of affectionate words adds color and energy to the poems. The functionality of language and especially the subject matter became predominant throughout.

It was a form of philosophy that aimed to educate the deeper parts of the human psyche. Even when the subject was related to passion, celebration, nostalgia, or calmness, it was still straightforward. As such, a concrete organization has become instrumental when using metaphors. Exaggeration and hyperboles started to appear more often, defining the poetic style as overdramatic and distrustful (Chaudhry, 2001).

Yeats’ style is very contrasting to that of Shakespeare’s. Even though there are a lot of unexpected turns, the language is much more direct. Shakespeare often uses an indirect approach, and then, the meaning appears to come together from several pieces. Yeats’ style of poetry is crisper, so the meaning is received quickly and without hesitation.

As such, a lot of information can be grasped by the reader, and the picture will be more logical and organized. Some poems have very shortened verses, and this gives a rapid rhythm to a poem. It keeps a person at the moment, inspiring to action and a clear way of thinking. One can see that from the quote below:

That fool, all foul and pitifully looking

Dost thou not learn how to correctly dance?

If ye has chosen entertainer’s fate

That taken kindness from your unresolved inside?

Who’s guilty time will show

As every day is filled with a reminder

To understand what’s meant by the presented man

A hundred years won’t clear the fact of quarrel.

Conclusion

This essay analyzed the writing style of William Butler Yeats. He is one of the key figures of the 20th-century literature. The specific characteristics of Yeats’ style of poetry come from the spontaneous nature of the poem, and the use of alteration.

References

Chaudhry, Y. (2001). Yeats, the Irish Literary Revival and the Politics of Print. Dublin, Ireland: Cork University Press.

Unterecker, J. (1996). New York, NY: Syracuse University Press.

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