William Butler Yeats | Critical Essay by Simon O. Lesser

This literature criticism consists of approximately 32 pages of analysis & critique of William Butler Yeats.
This section contains 9,550 words
(approx. 32 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Critical Essay by Simon O. Lesser

SOURCE: “‘Sailing to Byzantium’,” in College English, Vol. 28, No. 4, January, 1967, pp. 291-310.

In the following essay, Lesser rejects earlier interpretations of “Sailing to Byzantium,” instead viewing it as a sad poem written by an old man dreading his imminent death.

I

“Sailing to Byzantium” seems to occupy a special place among the several poems by Yeats dealing with the bleakness of old age. In this poem, it appears to be widely believed, Yeats triumphantly confronts and liquidates his fears of aging and death. He does so by virtue of the fact that he—or, more accurately, the “I” of the poem—is a poet and a student of poetry: he discovers that engrossment in poetry is the only, but a sufficient, recompense for the...

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This section contains 9,550 words
(approx. 32 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Critical Essay by Simon O. Lesser
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Literature Criticism Series
Critical Essay by Simon O. Lesser from Literature Criticism Series. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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