The Wild Swans at Coole Questions and Answers

The Wild Swans at Coole

Yeats often used symbols in his poetry, whether traditional symbols or ones that he himself invented to convey the seemingly inexhaustible depths of his poetic imagination. In "The Wild Swans at...

Latest answer posted September 25, 2018 11:40 am UTC

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The Wild Swans at Coole

Autumn has been used for centuries as a symbol for middle age, decline and fatigue. When Yeats writes, "The trees are in their autumn beauty. . ." he is setting up an atmosphere of a change between...

Latest answer posted January 27, 2009 3:12 am UTC

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The Wild Swans at Coole

W. B. Yeats establishes a number of fundamental contrasts, including past to present, present to future, bound to free, and staying to leaving. Beginning with locating the poem in time, looking...

Latest answer posted January 16, 2019 11:49 pm UTC

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The Wild Swans at Coole

"The Wild Swans at Coole," by William Butler Yeats, may seem at first glance to be a traditional poem about the beauty of nature. Yeats notes the trees "in their autumn beauty," and the...

Latest answer posted April 29, 2010 11:29 am UTC

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The Wild Swans at Coole

The speaker stands by the shores of a lake at this friend Lady Gregory's estate at Coole Park. It is autumn. It is the nineteenth time the speaker has visited the shores of this lake. Despite the...

Latest answer posted September 23, 2019 7:14 pm UTC

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The Wild Swans at Coole

In "The Wild Swans at Coole," the speaker presents his feelings about the swans by describing the beauty of these birds in their environment and by explaining how he measures his own changes...

Latest answer posted August 24, 2019 4:33 am UTC

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The Wild Swans at Coole

"The Wild Swans at Coole" is a lyric poem in which Yeats uses the beautiful imagery of the swans in their natural setting to reflect on how he himself has changed over the years. The autumn season...

Latest answer posted July 30, 2013 1:54 pm UTC

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The Wild Swans at Coole

Yeats uses the first stanza to establish the elegiac tone of the poem--that is, this is a poem essentially about loss--and it is important to prepare the reader to understand the speaker's feeling,...

Latest answer posted December 13, 2011 9:15 pm UTC

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The Wild Swans at Coole

Okay, let's start with taking the poem stanza by stanza and trying to determine what each means: "THE TREES are in their autumn beauty, The woodland paths are dry, Under the October twilight...

Latest answer posted October 6, 2009 12:34 pm UTC

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The Wild Swans at Coole

The swans themselves symbolize the stability, the sense of continuity that Yeats so deeply venerates, and which he sees embodied by the old families of the Protestant Ascendancy. In the midst of...

Latest answer posted April 23, 2019 11:42 am UTC

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The Wild Swans at Coole

In this poem, William Butler Yeats describes a flock of swans on the water. He has observed these creatures for nineteen years running. This time he counts fifty-nine swans drifting together on the...

Latest answer posted July 21, 2019 5:46 pm UTC

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The Wild Swans at Coole

In "The Wild Swans at Coole," the speaker sees fifty-nine swans swimming on the water and reflects that he first saw and counted the swans here nineteen years ago. Reflecting upon the passage of...

Latest answer posted April 27, 2021 1:41 am UTC

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The Wild Swans at Coole

In the third stanza of the poem, the speaker says that everything has changed since the first time he heard the "bell-beat" of the swans' wings. He says that the first time he heard the "bell-beat"...

Latest answer posted December 29, 2019 10:41 am UTC

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The Wild Swans at Coole

A good question. The poem is based on contrasts between the past and the present, and between the narrator when young and the narrator now, which is 19 years later. As the poem indicates, this is a...

Latest answer posted September 28, 2008 3:23 am UTC

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The Wild Swans at Coole

I don't necessarily think this poem shows that Yeats is imagining his own death. However, it is clear that has he revisits this location where he had visited so long before, he is struck by how he...

Latest answer posted June 7, 2011 7:28 pm UTC

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The Wild Swans at Coole

The eponymous wild swans of Yeats's poem can be looked at both literally and figuratively. In the literal sense, they are beautiful birds, delightful fixtures of the natural world that still bring...

Latest answer posted June 17, 2021 11:19 am UTC

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