In Memory of W. B. Yeats

by W. H. Auden

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I need detail analysis, including short summary of every stanza of Auden's poem 'In Memory of W.B. Yeats'. And also please write a short notes on the following lines as i don't understand their meaning 2. line-17, Lines 18-21, line- 33, The parish of rich women; who is it referring to? , line 34-36, lines 36-40. Line- 47 ' all the dogs of Europe bark': are the dogs here literal or referring to something

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Auden wrote this poem shortly after Yeats’s death in 1939, as a tribute to one of the most influential, talented poets in English literature. Divided into three sections, the poem is both a typical elegy (funeral poem) and a meditation on poetry itself.

Section I imagines Yeats on his deathbed, supposing that his great mind faded away. The speaker also suggests that while some will remember the death of this great writer, others will barely notice.

Section II differs from the first in tone, audience, and form. The speaker directly addresses Yeats, chiding him for his flaws and mistakes. This chastising tone could indicate the speaker’s frustration that Yeats was an imperfect man rather than the idealized hero Auden and others imagined Yeats to be. This section also suggests that while Yeats was a fantastic poet, his poems—like all poems—may not have achieved what he desired them to do.

Section 3 returns to the formal style of the first section. However, the repeated quatrains underscore Auden’s purpose: paying respectful tribute to Yeats is important to the speaker. Despite the speaker’s earlier dismissal of poetry’s significance, this section reflects the beauty and necessity of Yeats’s contribution to humanity. The speaker implores Yeats to “teach the free men how to praise” from beyond the grave.

Line 17: The “current of feeling” is his consciousness. He “became his admirers” because his consciousness will survive through their continued study of his work.

Lines 18-21: The news of Yeats’s death will have reached people across the world, many of whom will know little about him. This opens up the possibility that some might remember him not as he actually was but as a footnote in an average day.

Line 33: The speaker is accusing Yeats of womanizing, like many famous men.

Lines 34–41: Many of Yeats’s poems were tied to his home country of Ireland. The speaker suggests that Yeats’s poetry did not fix the turmoil in Ireland that occurred throughout his life. Nevertheless, the poems persist even in Yeats’s absence.

Final Note: The “dogs of Europe” alludes to a famous line from Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar, “let slip the dogs of war.” Remember, this poem was written in 1939, on the cusp of World War II. Auden is referring to the growing hostility among European governments. He mentions this international discord as one of the reasons why poetry like Yeats’s is needed in the world.

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