William and wattle, both natural materials but not only

William Butler Yeats is a great writer and he shows his diversity through his poems. In some of his poems we see the beauty he yearned for within himself and around him. I will use his poems ‘Lake of Innisfree’, ‘Byzantium’ and ‘Leda and The Swan’ to talk about how he gives us both the images of beauty and terror.  In the poem Lake of Innisfree, he describes a place that seem to be full of beauty and peace. The way he feels about this place shows how much he loves it through the speech he uses. He uses the phrase ‘I will arise and go now’ in my opinion this is full of raw emotion which means he wants to do it immediately. Also, the fact of him wanting to move there rather than stay in London he thinks about the future saying   how he’s going to build his house there and compares it in the concrete houses in London. He says he’ll make it out of clay and wattle, both natural materials but not only naturalness but the clay is soft and easily molded and wattle is from the trees so it would have a feel of nature. The idea that he’ll be self-sufficient, growing what he eats and living off nature. He specifies exactly what he’s going to have on the island with the phrase ‘nine bean rows will I have there’ gives the idea it’s something he’s always wanted. This shows how carefully he has it planned out and how strong he feels about having this type of scenery. The discussion of nature within this poem in my opinion is what shows its true beauty how he relied heavily on the look and sounds of nature. The line such as “the water lapping” is a calm sound. The poem also shows how much he is feeling about this place when he says in his deep heart’s core this means that he’s experiencing a desire that fills his whole body and it is not something conjured up but how he actually feels. The phrase ‘I will arise and go now’ is a quotation from the bible in the story of the prodigal son where the son felt as though he has had enough harshness and says “I will arise and go to my father”, which shows how passionate Yeats’ was about this beautiful place and how much it meant to him.  Lake of Innisfree portrayed true beauty and tranquility. Another one of Yeats’ poems that portrayed beauty was Byzantium. Byzantium talks about the fascination of a different culture and lifestyle is the only way to truly experience and fully understand the ways of this other culture. By surrounding yourself with an unknown environment, one develops great character and becomes less ignorant to differences in others. It shows the beauty in growth and that when we allow ourselves to step out of a box we may have been placed in and see the world as a collective set of puzzle pieces accepting that we are not all alike we learn and we become captivated by those differences. Yeats sees Byzantium as a place of wondrous beauty and spiritual, “And therefore I have sailed the seas and come to the holy city of Byzantium.”  He hopes to find a change from the monotony of European society which at that time was and maybe til this day a place of rigid conformity composed of a strict ordered system but he wants to escape this environment in the holy city of Byzantium.In the third stanza he is attracting the wise old men portrayed in gold mosaic on the walls of Byzantine churches. He asks that they come from amongst the walls in a spiraling motion and feed his soul full of song and praise, he says “Come from the holy fire, perne in a gyre, and be the singing-masters of my soul.” He explains how his heart is eager to have the teachings of the masters. The author wants to be swept away into the intrigue of eternity. Byzantium was a place full of wonder and growth for his spirituality and he explains that to us through this poem.Lastly, in the poem Leda and the Swan there is a contrast of images to the ones I have explained in Lake of Innisfree and Byzantium. Leda and the Swan is full of terror and through language Yeats is able to paint powerful sexual images to his readers. I would also say that the calculated eroticism of something so violent is somewhat corrupt, because after all, to caress is supposed to be an act of affection and love, and is not normally associated with something spiteful and violent. A sense of the mix up is created in the next line, in which Yeats describes the swan’s wings as “dark webs”, the word “dark” is also used to portray the swan and its actions as evil. This sense of confusion is emphasised where the swan is said to have the nape of the victim’s neck “trapped in its bill”. The contrast in texture between the words “nape” and “caught” signifies the power of the action. Yet, despite the brutality of the initial action, the softness of the word “bill” shows that it may be forceful but not overpowering. The eroticism which occurred in the second line continues in the line “He holds her helpless breast upon his breast”, and the fact that she is held helpless give the thought of someone being raped and virtue being taken. The softness of the words used, combined with the sexual meanings they have gives a major erotic tone made evil by the forceful nature of the animal’s actions. In lines 5-8, Yeats shows the image of rape by the force that “her fingers” can’t push the “feathered glory from her loosening thighs”. In our society we know rape to be a gruesome act of praying on a person who may appear weaker than us and this poem portrays a gentle animal in a vile context. The contrast of beauty and terror in the poems, Lake of Innisfree, Byzantium and Leda and The Swan shows how versatile Yeats is but could it be that he is also a bit frightening. For someone to write something so different it really shows us that his mind may have been at two different stages at that point and also he is a really great writer to be able to show us these types of different concepts.