When You Are Old and Gray

Topics: Ezra Pound, William Butler Yeats, Modernism Pages: 2 (458 words) Published: February 5, 2013
When you are old and gray and full of sleep
And nodding by the fire, take down this book,
And slowly read, and dream of the soft look
Your eyes had once, and of their shadows deep;
How many loved your moments of glad grace,
And loved your beauty with love false or true;
But one man loved the pilgrim soul in you,
And loved the sorrows of your changing face.
And bending down beside the glowing bars,
Murmur, a little sadly, how love fled
And paced upon the mountains overhead,
And hid his face amid a crowd of stars.

♦ In the poem “When You Are Old”, most of the sentenses are “coordination“ which became easier to the writer to exhibit his ideas on the paper. William Butler Yeats, Irish poet, dramatist and prose writer, his central theme is Ireland,with bitter history, folklore, and contemporary public life. The poem tries to describe how the woman whose poet loves, will comprehend in her old age that she has missed the chance to own the true love. It presumes an old lady tired by the time and the true love that she ever had and now they had gone. By writing this poem, Yeats tries to moderate the lady’s beauty - he loved her beyond physical attraction, he loved her "pilgrim soul” - and increase her greatness. Yeats's handling of metaphors and language make both the tones of regret and resentment found in the poem possible. The uncertainty of the last stanza of the poem, added illustrates that the poem is not only about woman’s disappointed when she becomes conscious of what she has lost; it strengthens the argument that this work is in fact about the bitterness he wants the woman to recognize. As an alternative of focusing upon the present or the past, as is frequently the case with this often used theme, Yeats looks to the future, a future in which the two people in the poem are fated to be forever apart. By the graceful and hushed words, the poet express the perspective that no matter how time flies, when love was imprinted with a intensely...
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