The old men admiring themselves in the water: analisi della poesia di Yeats

Analisi in inglese della poesia di Yeats, The old men admiring themselves in the water (3 pagine formato pdf)

Appunto di siux93


William Butler Yeats lived for a long time.

It is essential to say that his capability developed in relation to the time he lived. In the 1st time of his career, he was romantic –even if it was not the period of romanticism- and his main theme was love. He was attracted by William Blake, a pre romantic author and by the symbolic philosophy. In the 2nd time of his career he was a modernist. In the 3rd time of his career he had a strong interest in esoterism.
Yeats believed in the use of symbols and he tried to give a meaning to the chaos of the modernity: there was a spiritual dimension that only the poets can reach.
I heard the old, old men say, 'Everything alters, And one by one we drop away.' They had hands like claws, and their knees Were twisted like the old thorn-trees By the waters. I heard the old, old men say, 'All that's beautiful drifts away Like the waters.
It is late autumn: trees are bare, the leaves are in the lake. This underlines that the life is at the end. The reflected image is the distortion of the trees.
“Admiring” is represented by the surface of the water. This is not an image of perfection because water is not still.

William Butler Yeats: vita, opere e simbologia


The two central topics are expressed in line 2 and 8: “Everything alters” “All that’s beautiful drifts away”. As water alters the image of the trees, at the same time, the time that passes alters the physical aspect, everything.
There is a strong melancholy typical of old men in line 3 “and one by one we drop away”.
The metaphor of water: we drop away. “drop” (goccia) announces a vertical movement, the semantic area is the water and it stands for the death. So:
1. Time alters as the water does
2. Drop: the leaves fall like these men, everything passes, time passes…


TITLE. The title is important in relation to the poem. “admiring – water”. All the poem is based on the metaphor of water that is seen as a mirror, even if the water changes and distort the tings. There is also a contradiction because the verb “admire” is generally used by young people, not by old.
The real subject of the poem, however, cannot be understood in the title.