It is the lost countries that are more vivid. And where you might expect exotic variety writing styles themselves range from simple to sophisticated, with a handful of translations from Arabic , what is most moving is the sense that exile has a collective voice, a shared tone. Stoicism, sadness, resolve — this writing is hard won. There is an inwardness and, at the same time, the poems invoke one another. And they are not depressing, even when the subject matter distresses. On the contrary, they shine. At the back of the book, there are biographical notes about each poet. Losing — and remembering — dominate the anthology.
Ismail Akthar, 12, writes about things he has ostensibly forgotten. Flowers, spices, breezes, a shared sky — one is moved by the staples, the necessary ingredients. Hadla arrived in Oxford at 18, traumatised by the destruction of her family in Damascus. What strikes one most is the sensuality in this book — there are as many juicy elegies as bleak ones. The ink of homesickness has produced a beautiful work.
I am from there, and I have memories. I had friends and brothers. I had a tree around the corner from my house. This is the speaker's fantasy, wishing to unite in sensuality with his first love, to become a complete human. The syntax - the way clauses and grammar is put together - is of interest in this stanza.
It is one long sentence, broken up into clauses by astute use of commas and a dash. Use of enjambment when a line runs on into the next, alters the pace and momentum. Note line 11, which extends the usual pentameter by two feet, becoming an iambic hexameter:. The speaker continues the imagining as he looks around, placing his beloved Maud Gonne in the schoolroom, as a child, before innocence was lost. It's a challenging position to be in, to look back in time and in the mind's eye see a woman he had a passion for become a child.
Poems for school children
Yeats in real life found little satisfaction in love. Maud Gonne did not reciprocate, and he ended up marrying a woman for something less than whole love. In a sense this stanza is saying There is a parallel between Yeats and Maud Gonne and the school children and their future experiences as adults. That word Quattrocento relates to Italian art of the 15th century, so the speaker is becoming more visual in his use of language, painting a picture of a classical Maud Gonne, now in the present, and therefore old.
Lines 27 and 28 are particularly poignant because they portray this image of an old woman from the 15th century, who drinks wind and eats shadows as if they were meat - like someone out of a Celtic fairytale. Yeats as speaker is implying that Maud Gonne is now old and gaunt because of desires unfulfilled, partly based on real life events - they did have brief intimacies but her reluctance to commit permanently to Yeats affected him greatly.
The wind dries out, is a lost voice. And could it be that the shadows relate to those in Plato's Cave of Unknowing? The speaker is looking back at what might have been when he still had the looks and energy but knows better than to feel sorry for past losses. He makes light of it, stays positive, admits metaphorically he's relaxed in his role as an official scarecrow. This stanza focuses on motherhood and child bearing, the physical pain and labour of bringing a child into the world - is it worth it when that child turns into an adult?
Then having to bring up the child knowing that it might never reach potential?
The phrase Honey of generation comes from the Greek philosopher Porphyry's essay on The Cave of the Nymphs, where it signifies a drug, that which nullifies the memory of the pre-natal foetus. Yeats again uses one long sentence to detail the experience of the mother and ask one question of value. How does the mother balance the physical aspect of delivery with that of maturity and growing up?
- General and Flag Officer Careers: Consequences of Increased Tenure.
- Technology, Outsourcing & Transforming HR (Advanced HR Practitioner)?
- Alkaline Foods: The Ultimate Collection - Over 30 Healthy & Delicious Recipes.
- Short Stories!
- Hausstaubmilbenallergie erfolgreich behandeln (German Edition).
- The Red Planet: Mars Unit Study.
There is a definite move away from the physical and personal - the speaker introduces three Greek philosophers in an attempt to find answers. These great thinkers are all subject to aging; they become scarecrows like the speaker, despite their theories and profound ideas. The speaker concentrates on the female gender, going back to the nun, the mother and eventually the lover, Maud Gonne. Religious people lie the nun worship ideal images, wanting perfection.
Mothers dote on their children naturally, seeing in them a perfect being. But sooner or later cracks start to appear and these ideals disappoint, they too break hearts Yeats is building up to the climax of the eighth stanza, telling the reader that passion his for Maud Gonne , piety the nun's and their images and affection the mother's for her child will develop their own ability to mock After seven stanzas the speaker eventually introduces that which will not result in heart-ache, pain and disappointment but unity Yet, questions still persist.
The chestnut-tree is given, an example of beauty The body responds to music, the eye sharp and focused, the dance a creative, rhythmic expression of body and soul. The speaker is concluding enigmatically - it is the artist inside that prevails, learning from nature and its own intuition, in harmony with the rhythm of discipline and form.
Physical love, lust, sex; religious feeling, the quest for an ideal; knowledge and theory and ideas are all well and good but it's the solo dance, the way we express being that has to come through if we're to avoid a sense of waste and despair. Plato's parable Upon the bottom Fingered upon a fiddle-stick or strings Old clothes A pause in a line, often midway through punctuation but not always punctuation, it can occur naturally in longer lines. For example, in lines 6 and When a line runs on into the next with no punctuation, carrying sense meaning and momentum.
For example, in lines Among School Children is a rhyming poem with 8 stanzas, each having eight lines, making 64 in total.
The form is known as ottava rima, originating in Italy, made up of a cross rhyming sestet and couplet, with rhyme scheme:. Ottava rima form is traditionally in iambic pentameter that is, each line should have five regular iambic feet Yeats however altered this pattern and although certain lines are pure iambic pentameter many others are not. For example, here are the first four lines:. So, from the outset, pure iambic pentameter is not established. Read the first line and there is no regular da DUM rhythm. The long vowels reinforce a sense of slowness and the last word questioning falls away.
There is an iambic pentameter line - line 3 - and the clear regular beat can be heard as the children go through their activity.
BBC News Navigation
The next line continues this but again the stress falls away with histories. So look out for these lines that alter the basic iambic rhythm when you read the poem. They bring a different pattern and pace to the poem, add interest and challenge the reader to negotiate lines with added focus.
For example:. Here we have a ten syllable line with five feet, so it is an iambic pentameter because it has three iambs but watch out for the opening spondee double stress and ends with the quieter pyrrhic no stresses or hardly detectable stress. Again, ten syllables and five feet, four of them iambic apart from the opening trochee inverted iamb with stress on the first syllable. This time there are eleven syllables which tells you that there is a different kind of foot in the line.
Among School Children
It comes midway and is an anapaest dada DUM although the caesura - pause caused by the comma, rather disguises it. These subtle and not so subtle metrical changes help mix up the rhythms and in conjunction with syntax help make this poem a joy to digest. Sign in or sign up and post using a HubPages Network account. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites. With so few characters to record my thoughts, I'm resigned to totally failure in my feeble efforts to do justice to Yeats' supreme creations. The first stanza I feel there's a lot more here than this commentary has reflected upon.
Yeats must have been so disappointed by both the conventional curriculum and old nun incharge that he found at the school. He had so much enthusiasm for the new Montessori methods that he felt so strongly would serve the new state to fulfil its duty to education a new generation free of the imperial diet of correction and propangda. Instead he finds neatness, cutting and sewing, Fenian victoriolic history at the core of the new states 'modern' methods.
He's appalled, dishearten and deliberately sarcastic about the experience.