What are five traits/characteristics of the writing of William Butler Yeats, using "The Lake Isle of Innisfree" as an example?
William Butler Yeats is perhaps Ireland's most famous poet, and is indeed considered one of the greatest poets of the 20th century. His subject matter embraced a number of topics, including love, war, folklore and the supernatural. In choosing characteristics of Yeats' writing as exemplified in this well-loved poem, one thing that stands out is Yeats' frequent practice of writing poems that have an unusual and unexpected rhyme scheme.
Although some of Yeats poems are very rhythmic, this one plays with the expectation of rhythm and form, and the result is that the end rhymes of the lines are somehow more impactful. The ending lines are roughly half the length with half the number of syllables, of the previous three lines in each stanza. This sensation of the stanza ending somewhat abruptly has the effect of making the words more memorable, and encouraging readers to muse on those final words, like "bee-loud glade" and "linnet's wings" and "deep heart's core."
Another characteristic present in Yeats poetry that is exemplified here is the representation of nature as both beautiful and melancholy, and the subject of deep yearning and persistent memory. The images described are offered as being on the poet's mind constantly, even though he is not physically present to experience them:
or always night and dayI hear lake water lapping with low sounds by the shore
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