Is the poem “The fish” about the animal or is there more to this poem? It’s time to dive into this poem written by William Butler Yeats (1865 – 1939).
Is it about fish?
Sorry, it isn’t just about a fish or even the fish. Yes, the poem is entitled “The Fish”, but – like it’s often the case with poems written by Yeats – there’s more to this poem.
What is it about? To cut it short: about love. It’s about someone who’s gotten away from him. That’s why he wants to catch this fish into his net. He does his best to do so, but she’s hiding in the ebb and flow of the tide.
You can also go for another option: life. Years of experience ensured that we can grant us knowledge. The knowledge that cannot be read in books. Just like the way the ebb and flow move. Dreams are sometimes shattered and can sometimes become reality. Most of all, there is the wish of Yeats to grow and to experience freedom in its full extent.
Isn’t this the beauty of this poem, just like many other poems written by Yeats? That there’s always something to find. Not just one thing in this case.
Although you hide in the ebb and flow
Of the pale tide when the moon has set,
The people of coming days will know
About the casting out of my net,
And how you have leaped times out of mind
Over the little silver cords,
And think that you were hard and unkind,
And blame you with many bitter words.
— William Butler Yeats