Sailing to Byzantium

Posted by on 22 12 16 in Criticism | 0 comments

I’d like to make this post as simple as possible, and will therefore give the poem, a standard interpretation (Spark Notes) and then a line-by-line analysis. Poem I That is no country for old men. The young In one another’s arms, birds in the trees, — Those dying generations — at their song, The salmon-falls, the mackerel-crowded seas, Fish, flesh, or fowl, commend all summer long Whatever is begotten, born and dies. Caught in that sensual music all neglect Monuments of unageing intellect. II An aged man is but a paltry thing, A tattered coat upon a stick, unless Soul clap its hands and sing, and louder sing For every tatter in its mortal dress, Nor is there singing school but studying Monuments of its own magnificence; And therefore I have sailed the seas and come To the holy...

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Anthologies 4

Posted by on 11 12 16 in Poetry | 1 comment

I have been looking at Modern Poetry selected and edited by Maurice Wollman (The Scholar’s Library: Macmillan, 1939), an anthology in which some of the big names of Modernism start appearing  – W.H. Auden, T.S. Eliot, Thomas Hardy, D.H. Lawrence, Stephen Spender and W.B. Yeats. In general, however, whatever the claims of the Introduction, the anthology is not Modernist in tone, and the poems representing the six above are not perhaps what we’d choose today. W.H. Auden is represented by: From Scars where Kestrels Hover T.S. Eliot is represented by: The Journey of the Magi* The Hollow Men* Thomas Hardy is represented by: Any Little Old Song I Am the One* Snow in the Suburbs* The Selfsame Song Weathers D.H. Lawrence is represented by: Baby Tortoise Cypresses* Humming-Bird Stephen Spender is represented by: I Hear the Cries of Evening...

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