What better way to start the new year with a new month filled with poems of and backgrounds about one of the greatest poets ever lived? In the first month of 2018, we commemorate William Butler Yeats. This is the poem To a young beauty.
The poem is addressed to a young woman. According to the standards of the time Yeats lived, she did things that a woman should not do. She did not stick to just one man but saw different men. Instead of living an abundant life, he tells her to just be passionate and not take everything. If she is ready to settle down, he introduces himself as the candidate to do this with.
This is a poem that is typical Yeats material: the usage of several names that are in fact metaphors and the hymn. The poem was written a long time ago but is still very much alive.
Interesting is the first line of this poem Dear fellow-artist. Is the poet talking about a poetess of his time?
To a young beauty
DEAR fellow-artist, why so free
With every sort of company,
With every Jack and Jill?
Choose your companions from the best;
Who draws a bucket with the rest
Soon topples down the hill.
You may, that mirror for a school,
Be passionate, not bountiful
As common beauties may,
Who were not born to keep in trim
With old Ezekiel’s cherubim
But those of Beauvarlet.
I know what wages beauty gives,
How hard a life her setvant lives,
Yet praise the winters gone:
There is not a fool can call me friend,
And I may dine at journey’s end
With Landor and with Donne.
— William Butler Yeats
William Butler Yeats Month
Throughout the month of January, we feature the work of William Butler Yeats! Interested in writing your own article or essay about the work of this Irish poet, then contact us for more information! We are always interested in guest bloggers on our website.