Compare and contrast the style of William Butler Yeats in his poems  "The Lake Isle of Innisfree" and "The Wild Swans at Coole."

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In order to compare and contrast William Butler Yeats' "The Lake Isle of Innisfree" (to be known as LII) and "The Wild Swans at Coole" (to be known as WSC) rhyme, meter, poetic devices, and meaning will be examined.

Rhyme and Form

LII: This poem is written using alternating rhyme. The rhyme of the poem is abab / cdcd / efef. The poem is written using three stanzas of four lines each (quatrain).

WSC: This poem contains the abcbdd rhyme scheme. The poem is written using five stanzas, each containing six lines (sexain). 


LII: The poem follows no meter. Some lines contain thirteen syllables; others contain nine.

WSC: This poem's meter is iambic (meaning its iambic foot is unstressed / stressed). Some lines contain four metrical feet (tetrameter); other lines contain three feet (trimeter). Therefore, although loosely followed, the poem contains both iambic tetrameter and iambic trimeter.

Poetic Devices

LII: Alliteration and assonance appear in the poem. Alliteration is the repetition of a consonant sound; assonance is the repetition of a vowel sound. Alliteration is found in line three where the "h" sound repeats in "have," "hive," and "honey." Assonance is found in line nine where the "i" sound repeats in "I," "will," and "arise."

WSC: This poem uses alliteration as well. Alliteration is found in line three where the "t" sound is repeated in "October," "twilight," and "water." It also contains a homograph (word with multiple meaning). The poem uses the word "still" in multiple ways.


LII: This poems illustrates the healing power of nature, the importance of imagination (promise of more), and remembrance of better times.

WSC: This poem illustrates the power of nature and imagination. Here though, the speaker wishes to be like nature (wild, unbridled, and free).

Read the study guide:
The Lake Isle of Innisfree

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