Sunday, September 18, 2011

The One on To an Isle in the Water

To an Isle in the Water

by William Butler Yeats

Shy one, shy one,
Shy one of my heart,
She moves in the firelight
Pensively apart.

She carries in the dishes,
And lays them in a row.
To an isle in the water
With her would I go.

She carries in the candles,
And lights the curtained room,
Shy in the doorway
And shy in the gloom;

And shy as a rabbit,
Helpful and shy.
To an isle in the water
With her would I fly.

My review:
(Yes, it's also for school.)

“To an Isle in the Water” by William Butler Yeats is a love poem about the narrator’s evening with the woman he or she loves. They have a quiet evening, and in the quiet, routine acts that partake in the evening, his love for her takes place. Also, there is a feeling of disquiet, as the narrator wants more than this mundane life with her, which is why he would like to take her “to an isle in the water.”

The structure of this poem, although at first seemingly ordinary, is actually very unique. The number of syllables in every verse is different, although always remaining approximately 5 or 6 sylables per verse. Also, the number of words per verse is constantly changing. So how does this poem managage to keep rhythm so effectively? Basically, the unique rhyme scheme gives Yeat’s poem a hidden musicality, which lets the emotion surface above it. The rhyme scheme consists in having the first and third line of each stanza lack rhyme, whilst the second and fourth do rhyme. Besides, all stanzas have four verses, and there are four stanzas in total. This creates a “round” poem, easy for the reader to digest. Thus, the poem’s rhyme structure and length of stanza create a special rhythm in the poem, through the structure.

In effect, “To an Isle in the Water” by William Butler Yeats is a short yet infinitely wonderfully passionate poem about love, which without its unique structure, would be lacking great part of this passion.

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