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(An Analysis Of The Themes Of Stasis Vs. Changing In Yeats’ Work)

968 words - 4 pages

The world we live in works intricately. It isn’t something that just anyone can understand. In fact, no one really knows the way the world in which we live operates. But the author W.B. Yeats was on to something that cleared things up a bit. He believed that the world was made up of relationship between stasis and changing. In many of his works, he made statements about these relationships. However, what he said isn’t necessarily clear to average reader. Is their interaction good? Which one acts on the other? These are all questions that Yeats will subliminally answer in his poetry. There is evidence of the opposition in Yeats’ poems Old, Lake, Wild, Second, and Sailing.
Initially, there ...view middle of the document...

This is an interesting poem, in which the narrator is simply observing wild swans on the pond in a park. He has engaged in the same activity for 19 years now, and nothing has changed, as this quote details. “The trees are in their autumn beauty, The woodland paths are dry, Under the October twilight the water Mirrors a still sky; Upon the brimming water among the stones are nine-and-fifty swans. (Lines 1-6)” For as long as he’s known them, the swans have been timeless. But this time, wizened with age, he realizes that things can change at any moment. This quote shows this realization, and conveys the feelings the narrator experiences at the realization.“By what lake’s edge or pool Delight men’s eyes when I awake some day To find they have flown away?” They might not just fly across the pond forever. At any given moment, those swans could fly away and never return.
In addition, there is evidence of this opposition in the poem Second. This poem offers a very pessimistic view of the future of the world, written following the events of World War I. Terrible atrocities were committed in this war, and they caused Yeats to lose a lot of faith in humanity. This quote shows his feelings towards the subject. “The falcon cannot hear the falconer; Things fall apart; the center cannot hold; Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world, The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere The ceremony of innocence is drowned; The best lack all conviction, while the worst Are full of passionate intensity. (Lines 2-8)” Humans do unnatural things, and thusly change the world too fast. When this happens, terrible occurrences are never far behind.
Lastly, there is evidence of this opposition in the poem Sailing....

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