In the third and fourth stanza, however, Yeats completely changes the tone of his poetry.
He praises the romantics of Irish history, such as Rob...
In this way, one finds much beyond the “broad side of the barn” reading of “Among School Children” as Yeats’s thoughts on the unity of youth and age, certainly more than the author’s own statements of “meaning” that “even the greatest men are owls, scarecrows, by the time their fame has come” (Wade 1955, p.
719), or that “life will waste [school children] perhaps that no possible life fulfill their own dreams or even their [sic] teacher s hope […and] that life prepares for what never happens” (Yeats 2007, p. While the initial stanza certainly opens up topics for discussion, the second widens the field tremendously.
”, it is often an uphill battle to formulate a straightforward answer—even though the subject was of paramount importance to him, and the focus of decades of research.
It would be nice to be able to say, “Read : Yeats’s final word on the subject,” but that problematic, meandering tome is itself fraught with ambiguities and questions.
(1937) with a number of inconsistencies found in Yeats’s poetic corpus, with an emphasis on how one might interpolate an escape from the cycle of lives, in at least one possibility while still maintaining corporality.
The justification for this last comes from an analysis of complex cabalistic metaphors and teachings that Yeats learned as a member of Mac Gregor Mathers’ Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn.
Yeats was a master of framing through the literary equivalent of negative space; what he leaves unsaid or assumed is often more fundamental to his themes than what is concretely shown.
He favored rhetorical questions over definitive statements and, based on his years of study as a practicing occultist, espoused the belief that symbols, correctly used, would take on lives of their own in the minds of readers and thereby do half of his work on their own.