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Biplob Prodhan
  • 5 days ago
  • 17
Evaluate Yeats as an Irish nationalist poet. (N.U. 2016, ’19)  Or, Show W. B. Yeats as an Irish national poet.


Or, Find out Irish elements in Yeats’ poetry.
Or, What marks of patriotic feelings do you notice in Yeats’ poetry?

Ans. W. B. Yeats is one of the greatest poets of the English language. But he is an Irish poet with great love for his country. He displays at large Irish folklore, Irish heroic story. Irish history that are in his mind His patriotic fervour prompted him to join the organisation like Irish Republican Brotherhood. Yeats greatly respected the Irish nationalis leader, Parnell. It was under the influence of John O’leary, a Fenian leader, that Yeats developed an interest in Irish nationalism, and read Irish patriotic literature and joined a young Ireland society.

Yeats’ patriotic fervour finds expression in his attempt to highlight the countryside, folklore, tradition, mythology and above all the culture of Ireland. The poem The Wild Swan at Coole combines Irish countryside with Irish folk belief and legends. In the poem, the poet gives us an impressive description of the lake at Coole Park. His heart captures the exquisite calm and quietness around the lake. The poem captures the serene beauty of nature. He says:

“The trees in the autumn beauty, The woodland paths are dry,
Under the October twilight the water
Mirrors a still sky”

Yeats’ sense of nationalism and patriotic fervour is evident in Easter 1916. On the Easter morning of 1916 Irish nationalists launched a revolt against the British Government. The revolt was unsuccessful and a number of nationals were executed.

Yeats’ desire for Ireland’s independence was the product of his emotion rather then politics. As an Irishman, he was passionately attached to his country by ties of ancestors and pride in his country’s history and legends but he was gradually disillusioned when he felt the violence and hatred by the Irish political leaders were a meanness of spirits, a kind of selfishness and Lack of breeding which was poisoning the heroic Irish noblity.

Yeats highlights the long cherished customs and traditions of Ireland. He possessed a deep rooted respect for the Irish aristocracy. According to Yeats, custom and ceremony are apposed to arrogance and hatred, which are found in the common people. The aristocratic way of life is rooted in custom and tradition, which are the sources of all beauty and innocence. The poet says:

“How but in custom and in ceremony Are innocence and beauty born?”

at the beginning of the poem The Second Coming. Yeats sums up the situation of the world after the First World War as it is seen by Yeats. The falconer has lost control and the world itself is out of joint.

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