Saturday, September 17, 2011

The One on What Then



What Then?
by William Butler Yeats

His chosen comrades though at school
He must grow a famous man;
He though the same and lived by rule,
All his twenties crammed with toil;
“What then?” sang Plato’s ghost. “What then?”

Everything he wrote was read,
After certain years he won
Sufficients money for his need,
Friends that have been friends indeed;
“What then?” sang Plato’s ghost. “What then?”

All his happier dreams came true –
A small house, wife, dauhter, son,
Grounds where plum and cabbage grew,
Poats and Wits about him drew;
“What then?” sang Plato’s ghost. “What then?”

“The work is done” grown old he though,
“According to my boyish plan;
Let the fools rage, I swerved in naught,
Something to perfection bought”;
But louder sang that ghost, “What then?”


I had to review this poem for Language Arts, my final result being:

"“What Then?” by William Butler Yeats is a narrative poem, about the life and ambition of a man who never quite has this ambition fulfilled, and thus proposes to transmit the idea that ambition is ever-present, regardless of how much you have fulfilled.

The imagery in this poem focuses in creating pictures in our minds of what the man is currently living, and thus, through these pictures, creating emotions. For example, by saying “A small house, wife, daughter, son, Grounds where plum and cabbage grew,” Yeats is using a picture of a perfect household to convey the emotion of homeliness and family, and therefore, what one would think is happiness. However, this contradicts later on with the incessant asking of what then from Plato’s ghost. Furhtermore, Plato’s ghost is a metaphor for the subconcious and dreams. It is through this metaphor that Yeats tells us that the main character is subconciously unsatisfied with what he has achieved.  Using one of the greatest philosophers in history as a metaphor gives Yeat’s poem added thoughtfulness, and the poem’s overall impact.

In effect, Yeat’s poem “What Then?” uses imagery and metaphors in a splendid way, thus creating a great poem."


1 comment:

CHE said...

I love this poem and I loved your review of it. keep em coming.

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