This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

"For Love Of Aviation" Close Reading Of Yeats’s Poem, “An Irish Airman Foresees His Death"

1035 words - 4 pages


Allison Arcos
Eng 205 Higgins
February 13, 2010

For Love of Aviation

"An Irish Airman Foresees His Death" is a poem by Yeats that occurs during the First World War. This poem was written in memory of Robert Gregory, the son of Yeats's patron, Lady Gregory. Robert Gregory was a member of the British Royal Flying Corps. He was killed in 1918 in battle. The title of this poem informs the reader of the reflective nature of the speaker regarding his death and his life. Throughout the poem, the speakers seem to be questioning his existence and the quality of his life. The poem has a dual presence in the literary world as both a poem regarding death and a poem regarding World War I. Yeats never hid his political opinions and those are central in the lines "Those that I fight I do not hate/those that I guard I do not love". Yeats uses these lines to make a political statement about the Irish War for Independence and British occupation and presence.
The speaker's attitude towards his imminent death is­ ambivalent through the use of his language and the reflective nature of the poem. Yeats intentionally gives him a superficial history and a nonexistent future. His airman is generic and lacking character, he is very existentialist in his thoughts. The only thing that seems to elicit emotion from the airman is aviation. The line "lonely impulse of delight" refers to the joy of flying.
It seems though flying is his only motivation and his only goal in life is to achieve flight, even at pain of death. The airman was willing to risk death, not for obligations, honor, or glory but for the chance to live among the clouds, however briefly, and the chance to die there, doing what he loved. Some may believe that the "lonely impulse of delight" refers to battle, but I feel the speaker's apathetic attitude in the poem negates that idea. He also seems to be at complete ease with his death; he had fulfilled all his life's goals. Yeats establishes an overtone of finality with fate and death being the last words of lines 1 and 16. In weighing the balance between life and death, he seems to find peace in the fact that his life will be over soon.
The structure of the poem reveals the sense of balance the speaker is considering between life and death. The poem is comprised of four quatrains which give it a balanced appearance and divide the poem into distinct thought patterns of the speaker. The rhyme scheme is simple to let the clarity of the language and the poem's meaning shine through. The poem culminates in only about three lines with a temporal shift to the present. I think this abrupt end is representative of the anticipated short end to the airman's life in...

Find Another Essay On "For Love of Aviation" Close Reading of Yeats’s poem, “An Irish Airman Foresees His Death"

Fate in an Irish Airman Foresees His Death by Williams Bulter Yates

1165 words - 5 pages Critical Analysis: An Irish Airman Foresees His Death There is no way fate, fate will get its turn on he/she and there is nothing that can be done to avoid it. This isn’t an infamous cop pursuit where the villain escapes, but more like the Black Death were no one escapes. Horrible, yes, but fate is real, and instead of trembling on it he/she needs to grab fate by the horns and make it special. The poem “An Irish Airman Foresees His Death

This essay is about the close reading of the poem. Oh captain my captain

783 words - 3 pages and wreaths are forms of congratulations from people supporting the Union. From a different standpoint, however, the people could be mourning the death of Lincoln along with Whitman. In this case, these are all symbols that would go along with a funeral service for an accomplished military man (Meg.) In line 13, Whitman says, "Here Captain! dear father! EWhen breaking this line down you think of the Captain, being the leader of a ship and father

Close reading paper of Winter's Tale and Hamlet and the involvement of Love after Death in the text. - University of Illinois/ English 218 - Essay

1689 words - 7 pages Jordan Roberts English 218 Close Reading Paper #2 November 12, 2017 Love after Death A recurring theme of loving your partner after their death has been common in our readings throughout the plays we have been analyzing in class. In The Winter’s Tale and Hamlet I saw a lot of men mistreating their women or not really showing them love until their death. In the case of the male this occurred for them to get their way. In the case of the females

This is a close reading aka analysis of the poem "Landscape with the Fall of Icarus" by William Carlos Williams

510 words - 3 pages The poem "Landscape with the Fall of Icarus", by William Carlos Williams, portrays in writing the painting by Brueghel. The piece depicts the Greek myth of the tragedy of Icarus, a boy who flew too close to the sun with wax wings and fell into the sea to his death. The poem has no set rhyme scheme or meter, an example of one of Williams' many free verse poems. After reading the poem many times, I started sensing a feeling of insignificance; that

Robert Penn Warren True Love Close Reading

1111 words - 5 pages Robert Penn Warren's poem “True Love” express the power of love and attraction to cause an unrequited love to become a source of nostalgia, admiration and the idealization of the intended for the admirer. The narrator and admirer, reminisces on his childhood memories of the older girl, still idealizes her to the point of her being a mere object rather than a real person. Years after the boy’s memories, the narrator still holds shallow

An account of john donnes relationship with the sun and his love in the poem The sun is rising

578 words - 2 pages There is evidence in the poem that the poet John Donne has strong feelings towards both the Sun and his lover. "But that I would not lose her sight so long. If her eyes have not blinded thine". This evidential quote show that he is so in love with this woman that he could not bare to lose sight of her for the slightest second. This woman's eyes are so beautiful radiant and bright that looking in to her eyes has blinded the suns light from

"If I..." Poem of love and death (Its like a life story, starting from teenage love to elderly love)

261 words - 2 pages said, "I love you", would you say it back?If I cried, would you hear?If when they closed your coffin, and I said goodbye, would you do the same?If I prayed at night for you, would you respond?If I died, would you be waiting for me?If I lived, would you be looking down at me?If I told our children the story of how we met, would you smile?If I asked you to bring me back to our teenage years of holding hands in the street and kissing in the park, would you?If I bid the world goodbye, would we be together once more?

Why does Agamemnon die? An analysis of Aeschylus's 'Agamemnon' from the Orestia trilogy which examines the multiple causes of his death. Based on a reading of the play in translation

1337 words - 5 pages reasons for his death.Perhaps the main reason for his murder by Clytemnestra is that, quite simply, he betrayed her. The initial offence was his sacrifice of Iphigeneia: he put the blood loss of angry warriors before his fatherly love. Clytemnestra, the bereaved mother could not be consoled by a victory, and she wanted his life for hers. Her daughter was sacrificed for a war over Helen, an unvirtuous woman. The pure died for the promiscuous, and

A Reading: “True Love” a poem by Wislawa Szymborska

783 words - 3 pages The speaker comes across to us about the reality of true love. Mocking us with its notions, expressions and yes even our public displays of affection. The ironic nature and the latter affirmation of true love is succinctly expressed in this poem By placing us face to face with ironic examples of the presence of true love it reaffirms our humanity and existentialism. She starts with, “True love. Is it normal,/ is it serious, is it practical

The Pitiful Prufrock. Speaks of T.S. Elliot's 'The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock,' a melancholy poem of one man's frustrated search to find the meaning of his existence

1278 words - 5 pages T.S. Elliot's 'The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock,' is a melancholy poem of one man's frustrated search to find the meaning of his existence. The speaker's strong use of imagery contributes to the poems theme of communion and loneliness.The Poem begins with an invitation from Prufrock to follow him through his self-examination. The imagery of this invitation begins with a startling simile, 'Let us go then you and I/ When the evening is spread

Close Reading of "The Panther"

1611 words - 7 pages built around it precisely for the purpose of supressing the animalistic instincts housed in the Id. Thus, by using a panther as an embodiment of the human Id in his engaging, eloquent poem, Rilke elaborately develops the theme of how animalistic nature lies at the very core of man. Works Cited "The Biography of Rainer Maria Rilke." PoemHunter.Com, n.d. Web. 14 May 2014. Boeree, C. George. "Sigmund Freud." George Boeree's

Similar Essays

Acceptance Of Death In Yeats’s ‘An Irish Airman Foresees His Death’ And Shakespeare’s ‘Come Away, Come Away, Death’

904 words - 4 pages W. B. Yeats’s poem ‘An Irish Airman Foresees his Death’ and Shakespeare’s poem ‘Come Away, Come Away, Death’ both deal with the theme of impending death, although by varying causes. While the poems employ similar figurative and sonic elements of language, their tone and style vary. Yeats’s poem is primarily a war poem that serves as an elegy for the Irish pilot Major Robert Gregory who died in WWI. As opposed to this Shakespeare’s poem is a

An Analysis Of Yeats’ An Irish Airman Foresees His Death

1443 words - 6 pages An Analysis of Yeats’ An Irish Airman Foresees His Death It is an unspoken assumption that when a country goes to war the men fighting are honored and also that there is a large amount of support given to the soldiers from that particular community.  What is often over-looked is the fact that many of the men, who are partaking in battle, are in fact, boys who do not even know what they are fighting for.  Also, the community is not always

The Horrors Of War Depicted In Owen's "Dulce Et Decorum Est" And Yeats' Poem "An Irish Airman Foresees His Death"

792 words - 3 pages in. Lines such as, “men marched asleep”, “coughing like hags”, “haunting flares” and “limped on, blood-shod” were effective at conveying an emotional appeal. The conditions that the soldiers were in were horrific. In Yeats poem, “An Irish Airman Foresees His Death”, the writing was not as graphic as Owen’s. Yeats’s was an airmen of his home village, the Kiltartan Cross. The first four verse put the reader in a nonchalant mood because the

Cultural Criticism In W.B.Yeats’ An Irish Airman Foresees His Death

1520 words - 6 pages decision belongs to the Irish as a collective conscience.  The theme of Irish patriotism is established in a seemingly simple testament to a dead soldier.  What better way to honor the dead than to personify Lady Ireland through his character!  The passion that Yeats subconsciously incorporates into his poem equals that of his love for Ireland.  An Irish Airman Foresees His Death begins on a low and desperate note, but reaches its’ climax upon