Poems of W.B. Yeats: The Tower

Poems of W.B. Yeats: The Tower Summary and Analysis of The Fool By the Roadside

When everything that has run cradle to the grave runs from the grave to the cradle, this will mirror the thoughts of the fool. When all this is past and the speaker is a ghost, he will still be material. He will be a grouping of material, so thin as to be transparent. He may then find a faithful love.


This is yet another poem about aging. The AABCCB rhyme scheme conveys a moderate degree of childishness, but the six lines per stanza (rather than eight) make it slightly irregular, recalling the speaker's identification with the fool who thinks that life can be spooled backwards as well as forwards. The speaker's lack of balance also calls into question the idea that he might actually find true love, thereby contradicting the sentiment found in many of the other poems in the work.