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WB Yeats, Essential Poetry Guide


How do I use these notes? 2

What is the poetry section all about? 2

Questions asked in previous years… 2

How do I approach it? 4

How do I structure my response? 4

What should to be in my answer? 5

Terms to remember 5

William Butler Yeats 7

The Lake Isle of Innisfree 7

September 1913 8

The Wild Swans at Coole 11

An Irish Airman Forsees his Death 13

Easter 1916 14

The Second Coming 17

Sailing to Byzantium 19

From Meditations in Time of Civil War: VI, The Stare’s Nest by My Window 21

In Memory of Eva Gore-Booth and Con Markiewicz 22

Swift’s Epitaph 25

An Acre of Grass 26

From Under Ben Bulben: V and VI 28

Politics 30

About the author 31

How do I use these notes?

  • These notes will serve as a companion to your studies on these poets and their poems. In each poet’s section you will find both background information on the poet and then analyses of their poems. The poem will also be presented (with line numbers for ease of use). The aspects of the poems that will be covered include:
    • Title: This will be a brief analysis of the title, prior to reading. The title often becomes clearer after a close reading and understanding of the poem.
    • Summary: Here we will briefly explain what the poem is actually saying.
    • Poetic Techniques: These are the figurative devices that you will find in “Terms to Remember” below. Here we have pointed out the main devices used and given a brief overview about how they are used.
    • Themes: Some of the major themes of the poem will be listed. This is not an all-encompassing list; there may be more themes that you feel are addressed in the poem.
    • Tone: Tone is also open to interpretation. While one reader may feel that the tone is apathetic, another reader might find it hopeless or sad. After reading the poem fully, write down your own list of adjectives that you feel describe the poem. These are the tone of the poem from your own perspective. Make sure, however, that you are able to back up your assigned tone with aspects from the poem, including literary devices.
    • Structure & R...

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