William Butler Yeats Questions and Answers

William Butler Yeats

Ballads tell a story in rhyme, and in "The Ballad of Father Gilligan," Yeats's speaker relates the story of how on one particular evening, God showed mercy on both a tired old priest and a man at...

Latest answer posted June 4, 2017, 10:32 am (UTC)

2 educator answers

William Butler Yeats

Father Gilligan is a parish priest living and working deep in the Irish countryside. He is a dedicated man, assiduously ministering to his parish, despite the fact that his parishioners keep dying...

Latest answer posted December 11, 2017, 2:33 pm (UTC)

2 educator answers

William Butler Yeats

Yeats' The Land of Heart's Desire demonstrates his abiding fascination with Irish folktales and ancient Celtic mythology. He regards the twilight world of fairies, banshees, and ghosts as providing...

Latest answer posted January 8, 2020, 9:30 am (UTC)

3 educator answers

William Butler Yeats

Yeats's "Words" comes from his 1910 collection, The Green Helmet and Other Poems, which marks a departure from his earlier works. At the time of writing, Yeats's great love, Maude Gonne, had...

Latest answer posted December 29, 2019, 3:52 pm (UTC)

4 educator answers

William Butler Yeats

Here's the context of the line you're having trouble with, from "The Ballad of Father Gilligan," by Yeats: He knelt, and leaning on the chairHe prayed and fell asleep;And the moth-hour went from...

Latest answer posted April 19, 2010, 11:45 pm (UTC)

2 educator answers

William Butler Yeats

"The Wild Swans of Coole" and "The Lake Isle of Innisfree" both celebrate the beauty and peace of nature. Both are simple poems that use imagery—what we can see, hear, touch, taste, and smell—to...

Latest answer posted September 20, 2018, 11:39 am (UTC)

2 educator answers

William Butler Yeats

One of the connections that exists between the real world and the world of the fairies in Yeats's "Stolen Child" is the pain and suffering that makes leaving it quite inviting. The real world and...

Latest answer posted June 15, 2015, 11:16 am (UTC)

1 educator answer

William Butler Yeats

William Butler Yeats's "The Stolen Child" is a poem that combines Irish mythology, mystery and romanticism as it pertains to childhood, and in juxtaposition with the modern world. This being said,...

Latest answer posted May 28, 2012, 6:32 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

William Butler Yeats

"The Mask" is comprised of alternating lines between 2 speakers. One speaker hides behind a mask, and the other speaker wants her to show her true identity (we'll assume she's a woman for this...

Latest answer posted September 28, 2019, 1:46 am (UTC)

3 educator answers

William Butler Yeats

W. B. (William Butler) Yeats was a prolific twentieth-century Irish poet who wrote a wide range of poetry during his literary career. For example, in “The Lake Isle of Innisfree,” Yeats relies on...

Latest answer posted February 19, 2021, 4:04 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

William Butler Yeats

William Butler Yeats's "Meru" is a Shakespearean sonnet, though it is structured and laid out like a Petrarchan sonnet, with a break between the octave and a sestet. The octave makes a general...

Latest answer posted February 13, 2021, 3:45 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

William Butler Yeats

The theme is one of (unwanted and regrettably) inevitable change over time toward old age. Yet another theme runs parallel to that of the changes of time and that theme is concerned with the...

Latest answer posted July 26, 2015, 4:48 pm (UTC)

2 educator answers

William Butler Yeats

In William Butler Yeats's “The Ballad of Father Gilligan,” the old parish priest Peter Gilligan is weary and grieving, for many of his parishioners are dying. It is early evening, the “moth-hour,”...

Latest answer posted July 16, 2021, 7:52 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

William Butler Yeats

Yeats' "A Coat" is an autobiographical poem in which Yeats reflects upon his poetry. In the opening line he says that "I made my song a coat." The song he refers to represents his poetry, and the...

Latest answer posted November 17, 2019, 5:05 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

William Butler Yeats

Father Gilligan finds that he has slept through the night and failed in his duty to one of his flock that had sent for him the night before. Here's paragraphs six and seven from "The Ballad of...

Latest answer posted April 19, 2010, 11:22 pm (UTC)

2 educator answers

William Butler Yeats

Both of Yeats's poems use nature as the vehicle for expressing sentiment, and each poem has its own message. In "The Lake at Innisfree" the speaker projects himself, in great detail, to a bucolic...

Latest answer posted January 27, 2018, 7:38 pm (UTC)

2 educator answers

William Butler Yeats

There are several literary devices employed in Yeats's poem, but one theme that he often employs is that of the journey of life. This journey is presented in spiral imagery that explores the human...

Latest answer posted March 19, 2015, 5:00 am (UTC)

1 educator answer

William Butler Yeats

This section of the poem comes in the final stanza, as Father Gilligan kneels to worship his God who has helped him so much by allowing one of his parishioners to die in peace without the need for...

Latest answer posted April 22, 2011, 8:06 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

William Butler Yeats

Father Gilligan in the ballad by Yeats, "The Ballad of Father Gilligan," is tired because his people are dying off so fast. His job is to go to them, comfort them, and give them last rites when...

Latest answer posted April 15, 2010, 12:34 am (UTC)

2 educator answers

William Butler Yeats

In the Yeats poem, "The Ballad of Father Gilligan," the fact that half of his flock, half of his parishioners, are lying under green sod is responsible for the priest's exhausted state. The green...

Latest answer posted April 15, 2010, 1:09 am (UTC)

2 educator answers

William Butler Yeats

There are several ways to discuss W. B. (William Butler) Yeats as a modern poet. There are also a few ways to argue against presenting Yeats as a modern poet. Let’s start with why Yeats might be...

Latest answer posted October 10, 2020, 2:37 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

William Butler Yeats

Yeats's "Byzantium" was written some years after "Sailing to Byzantium" in an attempt to clarify the earlier poem. While "Sailing to Byzantium" uses allusions (such as to the sages) to give the...

Latest answer posted December 31, 2019, 1:37 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

William Butler Yeats

The two central themes of the poem "The Ballad of Father Gilligan" are the tremendous stresses a priest must face in Ireland during the Great Potato Famine, and the omnipresent help of a loving...

Latest answer posted March 22, 2011, 2:12 am (UTC)

1 educator answer

William Butler Yeats

Here's the first four stanzas of "The Ballad of Father Gilligan," by Yeats. They include the details you refer to: The old priest Peter GilliganWas weary night and day;For half his flock were in...

Latest answer posted April 20, 2010, 12:25 am (UTC)

2 educator answers

William Butler Yeats

Put simply, "The Gyres" is about an old man on the verge of death, as he reflects on his existence and the destruction of civilization around him. However, the poem is a bit more complicated than...

Latest answer posted November 11, 2018, 3:16 pm (UTC)

2 educator answers

William Butler Yeats

William Butler Yeats's poem "The Stolen Child" is structured into four stanzas with a basic ABAB CDCD EFEF and so on rhyme scheme. Each of the first three stanzas ends with an invitation to the...

Latest answer posted December 19, 2017, 11:43 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

William Butler Yeats

The poem "The Cat and The Moon" was originally written by Yeats as part of a play, first produced in 1917. The first two quatrains of the poem open the play, the second two quatrains appear a short...

Latest answer posted October 19, 2015, 4:24 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

William Butler Yeats

William Butler Yeats, a much read and loved Irish poet even today, is considered by many as one of the finest poets of the 20th century. His contributions to English poetical traditions are many,...

Latest answer posted June 30, 2013, 12:55 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

William Butler Yeats

"I will arise and go now, and go to Innisfree." Nature plays an important role in much of the Irish poet William Butler Yeats's work, particularly that of his home country. "The Lake Isle of...

Latest answer posted February 20, 2020, 4:25 am (UTC)

1 educator answer

William Butler Yeats

Here's the context of the line you ask about from "The Ballad of Father Gilligan," by Yeats. The old priest Peter GilliganWas weary night and day;For half his flock were in their beds,Or under...

Latest answer posted April 20, 2010, 12:38 am (UTC)

2 educator answers

William Butler Yeats

The following link summarizes it best. However, in short, it is about an old man who waits for the waters to flow freely in a well that offers water that gives immortality to those who drink it....

Latest answer posted December 27, 2008, 8:39 am (UTC)

1 educator answer

William Butler Yeats

There is a great deal to say about these four poets, and this question might easily form the topic for a book, rather than an answer of a few hundred words. Yeats and Heaney are both strongly...

Latest answer posted June 21, 2020, 10:24 am (UTC)

1 educator answer

William Butler Yeats

The details you need to answer your question are in the second and third stanzas of the poem. Here's the first four stanzas, to give you the full context, of "The Ballad of Father Gilligan," by...

Latest answer posted April 20, 2010, 12:48 am (UTC)

2 educator answers

William Butler Yeats

W. B. Yeats is a fascinating poet who fills his poems with creative techniques and themes that set him apart stylistically and in terms of content. These stylistic and thematic tendencies also...

Latest answer posted February 19, 2021, 9:51 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

William Butler Yeats

I think this excellent poem presents us with a priest who is at the end of his tether and absolutely exhausted. It appears that the cause of his intense spritual and physical weariness is the fact...

Latest answer posted May 29, 2011, 7:09 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

William Butler Yeats

The fairies believe that their world is more alluring than the child's world because it spares him the loss that inevitably awaits. There is nothing conclusively proven about which world is better....

Latest answer posted June 17, 2015, 12:30 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

William Butler Yeats

Yeats's play, The Pot of Broth, (which he wrote was composed with the help of Lady Gregory) is a retelling of the old European folk tale often known as "stone soup." There are also Chinese and...

Latest answer posted November 10, 2019, 12:22 am (UTC)

1 educator answer

William Butler Yeats

Yeats published "Down By The Salley Gardens," a poem based on an Irish folk song, in a collection called Crossways in 1890. Although some readers have tried to locate the "Salley" gardens, the...

Latest answer posted November 18, 2014, 7:02 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

William Butler Yeats

Apart from their both dealing with swans, in my view these two poems on first reading have little in common. "Leda and the Swan" is a sonnet based on the incident in Greek mythology in which Zeus...

Latest answer posted June 2, 2018, 6:08 am (UTC)

1 educator answer

William Butler Yeats

What is referred to in this poem as the "flock" is the people who lived in Father Gilligan's area. They are the people for whom he, as a priest, is responsible. The idea is that he is their...

Latest answer posted April 14, 2010, 10:22 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

William Butler Yeats

A traditional folk ballad is usually told in a direct or dramatic manner with a specific form: quatrains (four-line stanzas) the lines alternate between four stresses and three stresses the second...

Latest answer posted April 15, 2010, 12:03 am (UTC)

2 educator answers

William Butler Yeats

"The Green Helmet" by William Butler Yeats is not a play, but a collection of poetry. It was written after his collection "In the Seven Woods", and is a continuation of that...

Latest answer posted January 5, 2009, 6:47 am (UTC)

1 educator answer

William Butler Yeats

In this poem, Yeats describes a priest who is exhausted because his parishioners "die and die," and thus he has "no rest, nor joy, nor peace." The priest falls asleep one night after being called...

Latest answer posted October 1, 2019, 6:50 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

William Butler Yeats

This short poem by Yeats draws on the story of the crucifixion of Christ and the act of Mary Magdalene in using her hair and perfume to wash the feet of Jesus. These events capture the sense of...

Latest answer posted January 26, 2013, 7:26 am (UTC)

1 educator answer

William Butler Yeats

Yeats is one of my favorite poets! Does your assignment allow you to choose any poems? I am assuming you have to tailor your thesis statement to discuss these three works. I think you could...

Latest answer posted May 4, 2016, 9:36 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

William Butler Yeats

There are many romantic elements in the poetry of W.B. Yeats - many of this poet's most beautiful and lyrical poems were written early on in his career. a good one to look at is "The Lake Isle Of...

Latest answer posted April 7, 2010, 8:31 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

William Butler Yeats

To my understanding, the many people who are dying in the village described in "The Ballad of Father Gilligan" are victims of the Great Potato Famine, or, at least, the lingering effects of that...

Latest answer posted June 21, 2010, 7:29 am (UTC)

1 educator answer

William Butler Yeats

Yeats's work moves in two directions, in a way. Much of what he says in his poetry is very Romantic. "The Wild Swans at Coole" represents this well. In the poem, he paints a vivid nature scene and...

Latest answer posted May 30, 2018, 1:51 am (UTC)

1 educator answer

William Butler Yeats

In his poem “Broken Dreams,” W. B. Yeats deals with such standard poetic topics as desire, change, memories, the afterlife, the passing of time, and a woman’s beauty. Yet of course, like all...

Latest answer posted August 17, 2011, 11:40 am (UTC)

1 educator answer

William Butler Yeats

In most areas of the world, there are moths. A lot of the moths that people see come out around early evening. So when the poor man sends for Father Gilligan, it is early evening. Most of the...

Latest answer posted April 14, 2010, 10:50 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

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