What are the contrasts in "The Wild Swans at Coole" by W. B. Yeats?

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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 back 19 years, he makes the reader aware that contemplating the past will be one of the poem’s central concerns. The use of the words “Autumn” and “October” to describe the waning years points to the “first” time he had gone there.

At the end, when he speaks of the birds having gone elsewhere “some day,” he brings back the connections among past, present, and future. Along with contrasting his own earth-bound quality, using “trod” and “tread,” to the birds’ access to the sky “above my head” as they “mount and scatter wheeling,” he also...

(The entire section contains 2 answers and 403 words.)

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