William Butler Yeats

Start Your Free Trial

Please summerize poem 'The Spur" by W.B. Yeats into prose.

Expert Answers info

Kristen Lentz eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2012

write2,471 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Social Sciences

*I had to edit down your original list of questions about the poem to a single question (per eNotes policy). 

YOU think it horrible that lust and rage
Should dance attention upon my old age;
They were not such a plague when I was young;
What else have I to spur me into song? ("The Spur," W.B. Yeats)

Originally published in Yeats' Last Poems collection, "The Spur" reveals an old man's struggle with his vices.  When he was younger, "lust" and "rage" were "not such a plague," meaning that the speaker of the poem did not struggle with these urges nearly as much.  These lines also suggest that vices do not seem nearly as severe in youth as they do in old age, perhaps when society feels that an older man should have better control over his emotions.  Yeats' brief quatrain studies the age old dilemma: how to age gracefully and still have motivation to continue on with a zest for life. 

check Approved by eNotes Editorial