What are the various meaning of Byzantium in "Sailing to Byzantium"?

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In William Butler Yeats's poem "Sailing to Byzantium," the place of Byzantium holds the meaning of metaphorical immortality, intellectualism, and artistic pursuit. The speaker in the poem laments the passing of time and the aging of the human body and ponders how one can reach a figurative kind of immortality through leaving artistic and intellectual achievements behind after one dies.

The speaker sees the intellectual and artistic pursuits that occur are integral to the culture of Byzantium, and he dreams of traveling to this land as an old person whose mortal life is beginning to noticeably come to an end. Byzantium is a hope of humans that our short lives will be remembered, and thus become more meaningful, through the lasting impressions and contributions we can leave behind.

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