What is the theme of the poem "Among School Children"?

One of the themes of the poem “Among School Children” is the nature of change, especially as it is reflected in the aging process. The speaker finds the aging process all rather difficult, not least because he feels, looking back on his life, that he has never quite reached his potential. To a large extent, this is because his love for the young woman of his youth remains unrequited to this day.

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

The nature of change is a common refrain in Yeats's poetry, especially in his later ones as he became acutely aware of the onset of old age, which forced him to confront his sense of mortality. In “Among the School Children”, the speaker, who's clearly Yeats himself, finds himself reflecting on his younger years and how he's changed since then. The presence of children provides the catalyst for these ruminations, forcing Yeats to come to grips with the passage of time.

But it is...

(The entire section contains 263 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now

Start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this answer and thousands more. Enjoy eNotes ad-free and cancel anytime.

Start your 48-Hour Free Trial
Last Updated by eNotes Editorial on