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He Wishes For The Cloths Of Heaven

994 words - 4 pages

In “He Wishes For The Cloths Of Heaven,” William Butler Yeats uses an extended metaphor about the “cloths of heaven” to capture the idea that he wishes he could give his beloved the best that he has to offer. The poem expresses that the author would be willing to make big sacrifices to attain the love of his life, Maud Gonne, but in the end the speaker will not succeed at wooing her, as consequence of the following. Though, Yeats does state that he loves Gonne and says that she is more precious to him than cloths "Enwrought with golden and silver light," he is only saying this to exalt himself in the eyes of others. This is intended to mean that he only wants what he does not have, and as a more commonly used expression states, he does not "put his money where his mouth is". A stable relationship needs a support, and if Yeats has nothing to support Gonne besides his dreams, then realistically speaking he has nothing to support her with.

In lines 1-4, "Had I the heavens' embroidered cloths, Enwrought with golden and silver light, The blue and the dim and the dark cloths Of night and light and the half-light," Yeats expresses how precious and valuable the "cloths of heaven" are. You can tell how marvelously they are described, because the speaker states how the "cloths of heaven" are decorated with light, both gold light and silver light, and made of "the dim and dark cloths of night and light and the half-light". Logically, the cloths described by the speaker are unrealistic, but this is intentional simply to show the amount of his affection towards Maud Gonne. This is intended to suggest that the speaker believes that if he had a possession, either spiritually or materially, that was as magnificent as the cloths portrayed in "He Wishes For The Cloths Of Heaven" to offer his beloved he would give it to her. While some people may think that the speaker will be successful in his appeal, others may see it as becoming overly emotional towards a person, for example, currently the speaker states that he would be willing to sacrifice anything for Gonne, but then what? Yeats never assured what his goals were for after conquering his beloved's love. This shows not only uncertainty, but a lack of confidence for if he had faith that he was going to eventually obtain Gonne's love, he would he not surely have plans for their future?

In lines 5-7, "I would spread the cloths under your feet: But I, being poor, have only my dreams; I have spread my dreams under your feet;" the speaker states what he would do if he had the riches mentioned in lines 1-4. This tells the reader that the speaker has, realistically speaking, nothing to offer his beloved....

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