Poems of W.B. Yeats: The Rose

Assessment of Yeats through Three Poems

W.B. Yeats is considered one of the greatest Irish writers due to his eloquent, ‘otherworldly’ early poetry and many of his later dramas and works for which he received the Nobel Prize. Often associated with the Irish Literary Revival, Yeats’ early work can be looked at in a postcolonial sense. The poetry utilises Irish and Celtic folklore to “project a strongly Irish element," (Lit 201 Study Guide 2010) as seen through an understanding of cultural ideology. Although the majority of the themes in Yeats’ poetry look pastoral and mythical, he is projecting a strong message of promoting the Irish spirit and feeling. Three poems in which the audience can observe this sense are Cuchulain’s Fight with the Sea, The Rose of the World, and Who Goes with Fergus, all written in 1893.

The goal of Yeats’ Celtic mythic poetry was to reconstruct the imaginative processes of the life led by his ancestors in Ireland. As a quote from Yeats suggests, his countrymen had stopped following politics and instead were turning to the literary and cultural arts to revive the traditions and society of Ireland: “Everywhere I saw the change taking place, young men turning away from politics altogether, taking to Gaelic, taking to Literature, or...

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